Waldner: “Space technology should be harnessed for the benefit of all”
State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner congratulates UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on its 50th anniversary
Vienna, 1 June 2011 – “The peaceful use of outer space is in the interests of us all,” said State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner today at the Vienna International Centre to mark the double anniversary of “50 years of Manned Spaceflight” and “50 years of the UN Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOUS)”. The State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs emphasised that “we make use of the achievements of space technology every day, and Austria must continue to participate in the progress of this forward-looking technology.”
The UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space was established by the UN General Assembly fifty years ago. At its annual meetings in Vienna, the Committee promotes international cooperation and especially supports developing countries in using space technologies. The Committee is currently comprised of 70 member states. Austria chaired COPUOUS for over 35 years. As an auxiliary body of COPUOUS, the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs implements the Committee’s decisions and work mandates.
“Space technology may be of invaluable service, particularly in preventing and managing natural catastrophes,” said Waldner. For this reason the UN-SPIDER Programme is of special concern to Austria. In the event of disasters, such as earthquakes or floods, UN-SPIDER provides updated satellite maps, thus supporting the work of national and international helpers and relief organisations. Austria was instrumental in creating the programme in 2006 and has been one of its main supporters ever since.
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