The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA), the country’s central government agency for planning, developing and promoting the national space program, is scheduled to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Space Cooperation with the United Nations, represented by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), on 4 June 2021, at the margins of the ongoing 60th Session of the Legal Subcommittee (LSC) of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS).
The MOU will be the very first international agreement that PhilSA will conclude with a bilateral partner, following its creation in 2019, pursuant to Republic Act 11363, or the Philippine Space Act of 2019. PhilSA Director General Joel Joseph S. Marciano, Jr. and UNOOSA Director Simonetta de Pippo will sign the landmark agreement in a virtual signing ceremony to be held simultaneously in Manila, Philippines, and Vienna, Austria.
Together, PhilSA and UNOOSA will develop ways to work on the following areas of cooperation: (1) capacity-building activities to enhance space science and technology for socio-economic development; (2) collaboration on the use of space-based information for disaster risk reduction and emergency response; (3) expansion of collaboration on international space law; and (4) collaboration on joint public awareness and education outreach on the importance of space science and technology for socio-economic development.
In a statement, Director General Marciano said, “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 further signifies our desire to contribute more actively within the community of nations committed to the peaceful uses of outer space.”
He also expressed appreciation for the support extended by the Department of Foreign Affairs, through the Office of United Nations and International Organizations (UNIO), Office of Treaties and Legal Affairs (OTLA) and the Philippine Embassy and Permanent Mission in Vienna. DFA.GOV.PH