United Nations/International Space Federation 29th Workshop on Space Technology for Socio-Economic Benefits: "Access to Space for All: Closing the Space Gap"

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Good evening everyone.

I would like to thank the United Nations Space Agency and the International Space Federation for co-hosting this workshop and for inviting me to speak today.

I am Assistant Chief of Staff for the Department of State’s Office of Ocean and International Environmental Sciences (OES).

Our Department works with many other departments of the U.S. government to foster international cooperation in the areas of the private and commercial spaces.

The late Christa McAuliffe, who died during the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986, was training to be the first teacher in space. She was committed to her mission of becoming an astronaut. She’s not just for some people in science and mathematics, or a select group of astronauts. “

The universe is indeed for everyone. We know that in a technological sense the space age benefits all of humanity. Through space-based earth observation technology, we are better understanding our home planet. East African farmers can better plan their crops. Southeast Asian governments can better monitor typhoons and tsunamis. Scientists can map South America’s deforestation and monitor the climate crisis from space, benefiting everyone on Earth.

But space is also for everyone in a deeper sense. Mankind dreams by gazing at the stars. When we contemplate the universe, we better understand our limits and possibilities. It is a truly universal human experience. The new frontier is space, and it’s not just for some of us, it’s for all of us.

A week ago, Vice President Harris chaired the second National Space Council in the Biden Harris administration.

At this meeting, she confirmed that space is a priority for this administration.

Due to the fact that space is humanity’s last frontier, it is a priority. It could benefit all of us.

These ideals support international efforts to develop codes of conduct and best practices that promote peaceful and sustainable space exploration to address some of our planet’s most pressing problems, such as climate change. It represents the driving spirit behind this administration’s efforts to foster cooperation. .

In sum, the State Department has a long history of productive bilateral civil spatial dialogue to identify areas of cooperation with international partners.

We have a comprehensive bilateral space dialogue with Japan, ensuring a whole-of-government approach to space cooperation.

France has also started a comprehensive dialogue on space.

And the United States looks forward to dialogue with Singapore and Vietnam in the coming weeks.

Each of these forums focuses on developing norms, guidelines, principles and rules to promote the long-term sustainability of the space environment.

We also promote responsible and sustainable use of space in multilateral fora.

As everyone here is well aware, the main forum for international cooperation in civil space remains the United Nations Commission on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOUS).

One of our top priorities in this forum is to promote the safe and responsible use of outer space. Specifically, the implementation of 21 guidelines for the long-term sustainability of space activities.

These voluntary, non-binding efforts to guide the nation’s space activities and protect the space environment represent a monumental achievement of more than a decade of work within the Commission.

Of course, the universe is no longer confined to the authority of a handful of government officials, as we have already established. As such, we are inviting private sector advisors from academia, NGOs, and the commercial space industry to join the US delegation.

Their participation is essential to capturing the dynamic and innovative nature of U.S. space activity.

Outside of COPUOUS, the US is also working with regional partners. As an example, we, along with our colleagues in Australia, Japan and India, are working on the climate crisis, ocean protection, and space sustainability.

I can’t go on without mentioning the Artemis Program and the Artemis Accord. These efforts serve to inspire and guide the international community’s commitment to uphold and strengthen the rules-based international order. They provide this generation with an opportunity to proactively define the guidelines and principles they will use to guide civilian space exploration for future generations.

NASA’s Artemis program is inspiring the world as it aims to land the first woman and man of color on the Moon and carry out the historic first manned mission to Mars.

The Artemis program will successfully launch the Artemis I mission, the first in a series of increasingly complex missions intended to be the broadest and most diverse international human space exploration coalition in history. .

Inspired by the Artemis program, in 2020 NASA and the State Department launched the Artemis Consensus.

The Artemis Accords are non-binding, government-wide declarations of principles and rules under the 1967 Outer Space Treaty to guide safe and transparent private space exploration and promote peaceful cooperation in space exploration and scientific endeavours. promote.

The Artemis Accords represent a bold vision for the future of space exploration. They facilitate bilateral and multilateral space cooperation among signatories, expand our knowledge of space, and benefit the whole world.

The theme of this workshop is “Access to Space for All: Bridging the Cosmic Divide”. The idea is central to our work on the Artemis Accord, because the universe belongs to all of us, not just some of us. As a leader in space exploration, the United States is committed to making space accessible to all, regardless of background or where they live on Earth.

The signatories of the Artemis Accords are diverse nations with different space capabilities and interests. In less than two years, she has assembled 21 like-minded nations around the world committed to sustainable space exploration.

The United States is calling on all spaceflight nations to join the growing coalition of Artemis Accord signatories. Together we are setting the standard for safe, peaceful and transparent space exploration.

And just as the United States is committed to the responsible exploration of space with international partners under the Artemis Accords, we are also working with other nations to observe our planet.

The United States continues to advance a suite of space-based observation, research, and analysis programs of the Earth’s surface, oceans, and atmosphere with the goal of improving the quality and safety of life on Earth.

Remote sensing satellites are revolutionizing our understanding of weather forecasting, disaster mitigation, agricultural productivity, epidemiological outbreaks and, importantly, climate change.

Good science helps make good policy. This enhanced understanding is driving new strategies to address the global climate crisis.

For example, in the United States, Earth observations are helping wildfire-prone areas to limit damage and reduce the loss of life from wildfires.

We also exchange data and resources internationally. After his REPSOL oil spill occurred outside the Port of Callao in Lima, Peru in January 2022, the United States provided satellite data to Peruvian responders to effectively map the extent and movement of the spill. , reduced the damage. After this incident, the United States signed a bilateral memorandum of understanding with the Peruvian government to continue promoting this kind of open data sharing and scientific cooperation.

Free and open access to data has made all this possible. The United States is committed to making data and applications from satellites openly discoverable, accessible, and usable through bilateral data-sharing agreements and multilateral organizations such as the Earth Observation Group. We encourage our international partners to do the same.

This is another way to demonstrate our dedication to ‘access to space for all’. Earth observation transcends national borders and affects each and every one of us. By sharing this data widely, we can learn from and benefit from space science.

Bridging the spatial divide has never been more important. As we pursue new and amazing discoveries in space and face unprecedented global challenges on Earth, it is imperative that we work together to advance smart science and policy.

Time is ticking and we have a finite amount of time to deal with some of Earth’s most pressing problems. Let’s focus today on creating new opportunities through collaboration.