As part of the G20 virtual conference focussing on the global space sector, Space20, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) was invited by Saudi Arabia, that holds the current Presidency of the G20, to deliver a keynote on how space agencies are supporting the global response to, and recovery from, COVID-19. This marked the first-time space has been included on the G20 agenda.
The presentation, delivered by UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo, concluded with recommendations on how space data and know-how can be shared among nations going forward, to better respond to future crises. It can be found here: https://www.unoosa.org/
In the weeks leading up to the conference, UNOOSA and Saudi Arabia engaged with G20 space agencies to ensure the contents of the keynote reflected their latest developments, insights and activities. The outcome of the October 7 meeting will be a joint statement on behalf of the G20 space agencies and UNOOSA. The statement, currently being drafted, will include recommendations to promote space technology and share space data to increase global resilience.
The G20 Saudi Secretariat and Saudi Space Commission indicated a strong interest in establishing a governance model for a dedicated Space20 Working Group, to ensure the space sector becomes a stable component of the G20 institutional architecture in future Presidencies. This Working Group would act as a new hub for space-related discussions under the G20 umbrella. The Saudi G20 Secretariat and Saudi Space Commission indicated a desire for UNOOSA to act as the leading implementer of this Space20 Working Group, once established.
UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo said: “This is a historic development for the G20, recognising the rising importance of space for the quality of our lives on Earth and for the future of humanity. Global leaders, especially those with the most advanced space agencies, have a responsibility to share tools, data and know-how to ensure the benefits of space are maximised and accessible to all. UNOOSA stands ready to support the G20 in driving these aspirations forward.