9 April 2008. Around 60 delegates and other guests from almost 30 countries gathered at a reception ESPI hosted today during the session of the UNCOPUOS Legal Subcommittee.
The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) held the meeting of its Legal Subcommittee (LSC) from 31 March to 11 April 2008 here in Vienna. ESPI took the opportunity to invite the delegations to its premises for a reception and received a very strong response. Around 60 delegates and other guests from almost 30 countries met at ESPI for an evening filled with conversations and exchange on space policy and space law issues.
The reception was opened with a short presentation by Klaus Becher, Research Director of the International Institute for Liberal Policy, Vienna on the topic “High noon in orbit – will more satellites be shot down?” (download here). In selecting such a controversial theme, ESPI demonstrated its ability to act as a platform for dialogue on issues, which need a neutral forum to develop before they can enter intergovernmental debates. Klaus Becher, a member of ESPI’s European Space Policy Research and Academic Network (ESPRAN), provided critical thoughts on the option of weaponizing outer space. In the following discussions, the guests had the opportunity to touch on this and many other topics in an open environment.
In his welcome, ESPI’s Director Kai-Uwe Schrogl, who had been a delegate to UNCOPUOS for more than fifteen years (and who had been the chairman of the recent multi-year working groups on the legal concept of the “launching State” and on registration practice, which both led to UN General Assembly Resolutions), pointed out the independent input, ESPI can provide to the intergovernmental discussions. Through such ideas, ESPI can help shape agendas and provide perspectives to debates on space-related regulation, policy and governance.
The following photos provide impressions of the evening and show visitors exchanging views with ESPI staff:
Klaus Becher, Research Director of the International Institute for Liberal Policy, Vienna
ESPI’s Michel Jakob and Kai-Uwe Schrogl with the incoming chairman of UNCOPUOS, Ambassador Ciro Arévalo-Yepes, Colombia
The head of the German delegation Josef Reichhardt, the chairman of the Legal Subcommittee Prof. Vladimir Kopal, Czech Republic and ESPI’s Wolfgang Rathgeber
ESPI’s Charlotte Mathieu, Nicolas Peter and Katharina Stoffl with Prof. Johannes Ortner
Discussion with the Chinese delegate Li Yongsheng
ESPI’s Julie Abou Yehia with the Venezuelan delegates Ms. Crosby Plaza and Ms. Tatiana Oropeza
The German delegate Bernhard Schmidt-Tedd and ESPI’s Peter Stubbe
Welcoming the chairman of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS, Prof. Aboubekr Seddik Kedjar, Algeria
The South African delegate, Ms. Laura Joyce with ESPI’s Pierre-Henri Pisani
ESPI’s Katharina Stoffl, Julie Abou Yehia and Agnieszka Lukaszczyk with the Greek delegate Prof. Vassilis Cassapoglou
Klaus Becher and the French delegate Prof. Armel Kerrest
The head of the US delegation Mark Simonoff with ESPI’s Rolf Skaar