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Dr. Phys. Marius-Ioan Piso was elected chair of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space

on 13 October 2020

On 12 October 2020, Dr. Phys. Marius-Ioan Piso, President of the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), was elected chair of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS), for the 2020-2021 period. The decision was taken by consensus by the 95 member states.

In his new role as chair, Dr. Marius-Ioan Piso has spoken in front of the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee (Fourth Committee) of the General Assembly at its Seventy-fifth Session on the topic of international cooperation for the peaceful uses of outer space.

In his speech, Dr. Piso mentioned some of the actions taken by space actors and industrial players contributed to the COVID-19 crisis management and relief by means of satellite infrastructures and specific technology capabilities. “Satellite tracking and specific devices adapted for needs such as decontamination and ventilation space technology saved lives this year”, said Dr. Piso. “Space applications such as telecommunications, observation, positioning and navigation, tele-transmission and remote control are substantially facilitating the present economic and societal challenges given by the pandemic”, he continued.

Dr. Piso stressed the importance of continuing the efforts to enhance the role of the Committee and its Subcommittees, supported by the Office for Outer Space Affairs, as a unique multilateral forum for fostering dialogue and cooperation. “Strengthening partnerships among States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, industry and private sector entities is crucial work” he declared.

The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) was set up by the UN General Assembly in 1959 to govern the exploration and use of space for the benefit of all humanity: for peace, security and development. The Committee is tasked with reviewing international cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space, studying space-related activities that could be undertaken by the United Nations, encouraging space research programmes, and studying legal problems arising from the exploration of outer space.

The Committee continues to play a key role at international level. Some of the discussions in the Committee and its Subcommittees include a broad range of new and timely topics, such as global health, space exploration and innovation, small-satellite activities, space debris remediation, space traffic management, space resources, the legal regime of outer space and global space governance.

One of its founding members, our country has been a member of COPUOS since 1959. Since then, Romania was an active member, supporting and promoting the peaceful use of outer space. 

Image credit: ROSA