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The Romanian delegation at the 62nd session of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, 12 21 June 2019, Vienna

on 20 June 2019

The President of the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), Dr. Phys. Marius-Ioan Piso, is leading the Delegation of Romania at the 62nd session of the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), which is taking place in Vienna, Austria, between 12 – 21 June 2019.

In presenting the statement of the Delegation of Romania, Dr. Piso stressed the fact that our country is actively supporting the Space2030 agenda with its four pillars, namely space economy, space society, space accessibility and space diplomacy and recognises the role of the Office for Outer Space Affairs in implementing this agenda.

During the first semester of 2019, Romania is chairing the Council of the European Union and Dr. Piso highlighted some of the achievements of our country in this context. Space is an important item on the agenda of the EU presidency. The European Union developed an ambitious Space Programme and a Strategy, together with the support for the time interval 2021 – 2027. The rules for the implementation plan for the programme — having as major content the systems of navigation (Galileo and EGNOS), Earth Observation (Copernicus), Space Situational Awareness and secure Space communications (GOVSATCOM) — were successfully negotiated by the Romanian Presidency.

The Romanian Presidency of the EU Council conducted and finalised, together with the Spanish chairship of the Space Council, the revival of the formal EU-ESA Space Council which had met previously in 2011. The EU and ESA ministers met on 28 May 2019. Under the theme “Space as an Enabler” ministers discussed European Space Policy, strengthening Europe's role as a global actor in the field of space, and highlighted how research and innovation are a driving force for a more competitive European Union.

Dr. Piso restated that the national space strategy of Romania is built around the concept of 3S (Three S’s): Science and technology (including exploration), Services (including launchers) and Security.

The ROSA President then presented some of the activities in support of the UN COPUOS agenda, which have been carried out in Romania since the last session of the Committee:

The advancements of these topics and the skills developed in Romania conducted to the establishment of a ROSA Centre on Space Critical Infrastructures and Security, which is also supporting the SPIDER regional support centre in Bucharest.

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The President of the Romanian Space Agency concluded the speech by presenting the position of the Romanian Delegation concerning the Agenda items. Support for the initiative of Switzerland to organise discussions on the issue of long-term sustainability of outer space activities and for the inclusion of Item 14 Space Exploration and Innovation in the agenda was stressed. The delegation of Romania promoted the extension of the content of this item in the area of space science and technology, presenting two aspects of interest to the Committee. Presently, terrestrial science is becoming dependent by the scientific data produced by space instruments, for both validation of results and developing new theories. The second aspect is related to the possible utilisation of operational space infrastructures to produce scientific data. Examples could be the GNSS, which are able to provide data for atmosphere physics, or the SST telescopes, which are able to support optical / quantum communications experiments.

The Delegation of Romania is supporting the development of the Agenda 2030 within the United Nations system and sees the development of a Space2030 Agenda as a necessity due to the major contributions of space to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The role of the Committee should be compliant with the global space developments in all areas, including security. In particular, the resources for the Office for Outer Space Affair should be adapted to the current rapidly increasing space activities and needs of regulations and global coordination.

Further details about the 62nd session of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) are available here.

Image credit: ROSA