UN panel, led by UAE, clears draft on work in outer space


Omran Sharaf

The UAE, represented by Omran Sharaf, Director of the Emirates Mars Mission (EMM), chaired the 65th session of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).

During the session, the committee’s members approved the draft report of the Working Group on Space and Global Health.

The report is a distinguished achievement considering the different opinions of the committee’s member states, and the UAE has performed a positive and moderating role in ensuring the convergence of opinions of the committee members.

Sharaf said the space sector recently witnessed the emergence of new technologies and a growing number of involved entities, therefore, requiring greater cooperation in drafting guidelines to maintain the long-term sustainability of space-related activities.

The committee aims to promote international cooperation in ensuring compliance with United Nations (UN) treaties regulating safety and sustainability in outer space, he further added.

On the other hand, a UAE delegation of climate diplomats have stated the case for progressive climate action as an enabler for global stability, low-carbon economic progress and inclusive prosperity at the Bonn climate Change Conference for the 56th session of the UN Framework Convention on climate Change’s (UNFCCC) subsidiary bodies from June 6-16.

At the conference, countries that are parties to the UN Framework Convention on climate Change (UNFCCC) have begun discussions to reinvigorate momentum for climate action and set the stage for the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt this November.

The UAE delegation to Bonn is led by the Office of the Special Envoy for climate Change and the Ministry of climate Change and Environment, and includes the participation of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority and youth representatives.

In his inauguration speech, Sharaf welcomed Angola, Bangladesh, Panama, Slovenia and Kuwait as new members of the committee, which now has 100 member states.

He also welcomed the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKA) and the Lunar Open Corporation, which joined the committee as observers.

During the session, Salem Al Qubaisi, Director of the UAE Space Agency, delivered a speech on behalf of the Emirati delegation highlighting the UAE’s belief in the importance of equal international access to outer space and international cooperation in the development of space activities.

He also pointed out that the UAE aims to empower the private sector in this area and attract local and international investments in the sector, by implementing ambitious space projects and building the relevant capacities of national cadres. After the success of the country’s historic mission to Mars, the UAE Government announced a new scientific mission aimed at discovering the asteroid belt.

According to the system in force at the UN, the UAE presidency of the COPUOS, affiliated with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), will continue for a period of two years in 2022 and 2023, during which Sharaf will assume the position of president.

Meanwhile, the World Summit on the Information Society Forum’s 2022 (WSIS) in Switzerland has awarded the UAE for winning in the digital transformation in healthcare after the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) took part in the event, showcasing ‘Riayati’ platform, the national unified medical record.

During the global event, the ministry also highlighted a series of digital achievements made in the healthcare sector, which reflects the UAE’s strategy to automate and digitise all government services.

Ahmad Ali Al Dashti, Assistant Undersecretary for the Support Services Sector in MoHAP, said, “This honour is yet another global recognition of the leading achievements made by the UAE, especially in the digital transformation of the healthcare sector. It would not have been possible had it not been for the wise directives of our leadership that has always been keen to adopt the latest healthcare technologies and promote the country’s position among the top digital health providers in the world.”



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