On the evening of 13 July 2023, the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) had the privilege of inaugurating the Vienna Space Diplomat (VSD) forum at a reception hosted by the Ambassador of Luxembourg in Vienna. H.E. Jean Graff welcomed more than 50 ambassadors, members of Vienna’s diplomatic community and international organisations, and underlined the importance of space diplomacy.
ESPI Director, Hermann Ludwig Moeller introduced ESPI and the VSD to the audience and had the honour of welcoming former Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Etienne Schneider as the incoming Chair of the ESPI Advisory Council. Mr. Schneider provided a keynote speech underlining the importance of space policy and the wider benefits space can bring to the economy and society globally. He also highlighted Luxembourg as an European example of visionary and impactful synergies between decision makers in policy and the space sector, including entrepreneurship and finance.
The VSD reception will be continued on an annual basis and will complement the UN COPUOS side events and VSD forum gatherings organised by ESPI throughout the year. The VSD will provide an active forum to the diplomatic community with opportunities for dialogue and engagement in space affairs, discussing European space policy matters on a global scale.
A selection of photos from the inaugural reception can be viewed below, and news, updates, and how to join the VSD can be found here.