In 1999, the UN General Assembly proclaimed World Space Week by resolution 54/68. The main aim is to celebrate the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition.
The celebration of World Space Week is under the guidance of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) based in Vienna, Austria.
Today, the UNOOSA is the UN office responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. It serves as the secretariat for the General Assembly’s only committee dealing exclusively with international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space: COPUOS.
The UN has been involved in space activities ever since the very beginning of the Space Age. Ever since the first human-made satellite orbited the Earth in 1957, the UN has been committed to space being used for peaceful purposes. The UN family strives continuously to utilize the unique benefits of outer space for the betterment of all humankind. Recognizing the common interest of humankind in outer space and seeking to answer questions on how outer space can help benefit the people’s of Earth, the General Assembly adopted its first resolution related to outer space, resolution 1348 (XIII) entitled “Question of the Peaceful Use of Outer Space”.
Space science and technology and their applications are increasingly being used to support a wide range of UN activities. They contribute to the work of the UN, including the implementation of recommendations of major world conferences and those of the Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III). As a consequence, coordination, cooperation and synergy are essential for those activities to be effectively carried out by the UN system.