The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) will sign an agreement on space cooperation with the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) to strengthen the institutions’ shared commitment to the peaceful uses of outer space.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between PhilSA and the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNOOSA) will provide a framework for cooperation between the two parties to collaborate on various strategic areas, initiatives, and activities related to space science, technology, policy, law, education, and capacity-building. With the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the MOU aims to further strengthen the cooperation between PhilSA and UNOOSA in promoting the utilization of space for socioeconomic and sustainable development objectives.
Under the MOU, PhilSA and UNOOSA shall explore opportunities in the following areas: 1) joint capacity-building activities at the national level to enhance the use of space science and technology for socio-economic development, particularly in line with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals; 2) using space-based information for disaster risk reduction and emergency response through the UN Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN SPIDER) program; 3) expanding mutual collaboration on activities related to international space law; and 4) securing collaboration for joint public awareness and education outreach initiatives on the importance of space science and technology for socio-economic development.
PhilSA Director General Joel Joseph S. Marciano, Jr. [formerly director of the Advanced Science and Technology Institute of the Department of Science and Technology] underscored the significance of the agreement to promote space science.
“The MOU is an important step for the country as we continue to build the local space ecosystem and cascade the benefits of space science, technology and applications to society. It signifies our desire to be an active participant and contributor within the community of nations committed to the peaceful uses of outer space,” Marciano said.
The virtual signing ceremony will be held on Friday, 04 June 2021, at 1600 Philippine Standard Time (PhST) / 1000 AM Central European Time (CET). A joint press conference between PhilSA and UNOOSA will be held after the ceremony.
The MOU signing is considered as an official side event of the 60th Session of the Legal Subcommittee (LSC) of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS) that is currently being held in hybrid format from 31 May to 11 June 2021.
As the UN body dedicated to outer space, the UNOOSA serves as the Secretariat to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS). UNOOSA is instrumental in assisting the United Nations Member States to be able to strengthen their capacities in the use of space science technology and applications for socioeconomic development.
The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) was created by virtue of Republic Act 11363, “The Philippine Space Act”, which was enacted into law on 08 August 2019. With its mandate as the primary policy, planning, coordinating, implementing, and administrative entity of the Executive Branch of the government that will plan, develop, and promote the national space program, it is the central government agency addressing all national issues and activities related to space science and technology applications (SSTA). The Agency is directly attached to the Office of the President, which facilitates the promulgation of executive and administrative orders and formulation of regulatory and legislative proposals on matters pertaining to SSTA development. The PhilSA is headed by a Director General with the rank of a Cabinet Secretary, who also serves as the Presidential Adviser on Space Matters.