Students of MAI took part in the First United Nations Conference on Space Law and Policy

24 September 2018

From 11 to 13 September, 2018 three MAI international students of Institute №6 “Aerospace” and Institute №12 “Aerospace science-intensive technologies and production” fr om Egypt and Mexico took part in the First United Nations Conference on Space Law and Policy.

Each year, the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolutions on international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, reaffirms the importance of international cooperation in developing the rule of international law. The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) has been organizing a long-standing series of capacity-building workshops on space law and policy wh ere 10 workshops have been successfully held since 2002 in cooperation with world international community.

Building upon this series of workshops, the Office now moves on with a new phase in its capacity-building efforts, by a new series of dedicated United Nations Conferences on Space Law and Policy. The first Conference co-organized by the Government of the Russian Federation and hosted by the State Space Corporation "Roscosmos", as supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation was held in Moscow, Russian Federation, on 11-13 September this year*.

At the conference took part space specialist from Russia, the USA, Canada, Belgium, China, Australia, France, Germany, India and many other countries of the world, who form and are interested in the international space law and policy. Two students of MAI, Mina Takla and Aarón Garduño Rodríguez, represented on the conference private companies, and Ahmed Gamal Mahmoud Arafa, a third-year student of Bachelor’s degree on Spacecraft Engineering program, took part at the conference as a representative of MAI.

To participate as listeners at the conference students had to take part in the selection tour, wh ere they suggested interesting ideas or proposals within the frameworks of the conference theme. The idea of Ahmed Gamal Mahmoud Arafa was to create "International Organization to Manage Space Debris", which was approved for participation by the organizers of the conference.

The conference was organized to promote awareness and knowledge of the legal and policy aspects, to draw attention of the authorities and decision makers to topical issues of progressive development of international space law, to increase public awareness of the existing and possible challenges and threats in the area of outer space activities and to help specialists during the discussions and reports to learn the norms of space law and to make proposals for the development of new law.

Main directions was dedicated to safe use of outer space, legal aspects of space debris mitigation and remediation, space resources exploration, space traffic management and strengthening capacity-building in space law and policy.

Ahmed Gamal managed to talk with Vladimir Ermakov, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control, and Liudmila Gontar, Master of Law and Head of science students’ community in the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation. Both specialists spoke positively about MAI and expressed the importance of introducing discipline, such as space law, into the curriculum of technical universities.

Ahmed held a discussion, dedicated his field of interest, with the specialist of Roscosmos Vasily Gudnov, in the frameworks of the theme "Legal aspects of space debris mitigation and remediation", dedicated to the aspects of space law in case of the threat of a collision between a satellite and a spaceship.

Two days of the conference were dedicated to reports and discussions and on the third day participants visited Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center.

"I decided to participate in the UN conference on Space Law and Policy because I believed that it will be a great way to learn new things. It was very beneficial for me to learn more about space not only from the technical perspective, but also from the legal and political perspectives. I was impressed by the high level of organization of the conference by Roscosmos, the government of Moscow and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. It was perfect", - shared his impression Ahmed.

This is a landmark event, that the first conference dedicated to the modern type of law - space law – was held in Moscow. The interest of young specialists in this matter shows the importance of knowledge of norms in this prospective field of research.

*Information from the UNOOSA website

Daria Vinogradova (PR-department)

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