Philippine Space Agency, United Nations to work on international space cooperation

Philippine Space Agency United Nations international space cooperation
Diwata-1, the first Philippine microsatellite, being released into orbit from the International Space Station. Diwata-1 was launched on March 23, 2016 and re-entered the atmosphere (decommissioned) on April 6, 2020. Photo courtesy of JAXA/NASA through STAMINA4Space.

The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) and the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) are set to sign an agreement for international space cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between PhilSA and the UNOOSA identifies collaboration between the two organizations on various strategic areas, initiatives, and activities related to space science, technology, policy, law, education, and capacity-building.

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Specific provisions under the PhilSA and UNOOSA MOU include:

  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
  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. said the agreement is a step in the right direction as the country develops its own space program after “The Philippine Space Act” was enacted into law in August 2019.

“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 June 4, 2021. The MOU signing is considered as an official side event of the 60th Session of the Legal Subcommittee 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.

The Philippines’ space program has marked various milestones including the Philippine Space Agency’s 1st anniversary and Space Data Dashboard launch in 2020 and the Maya 2 cube satellite starting its space mission after the ISS deployment to orbit in March 2021.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the Philippine Space Agency and the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs for their agreement on international space cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.

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