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Space exploration can help humankind address existential challenges, says UN chief

Guterres highlighted that despite major political differences on the ground, “countries have worked together for progress in outer space.”


UN
Updated: 21-06-2018 03:22 IST
Space exploration can help humankind address existential challenges, says UN chief

The collaboration has led to “great scientific and technological achievements". (Image Credit: Reuters)

Not only has space exploration captured the world's imagination, it can also help humankind address existential challenges back on earth, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday, in his message to the UN's key forum on space affairs.

In a video message to the opening of the high-level session of UNISPACE+50, the UN's main forum to discuss the peaceful uses of outer space, Mr. Guterres highlighted that despite major political differences on the ground, "countries have worked together for progress in outer space."

The collaboration has led to "great scientific and technological achievements," he continued.

"We must ensure that everyone can access and benefit" from advanced space technologies, added the UN chief.

Taking place in the Austrian capital, Vienna, UNISPACE+50 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1968 UN Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which was also held in the same city.

Also addressing the opening segment, Alexander Van der Bellen, the President of Austria, underscored that space will become a crucial driver for sustainable development, and the collective mission to reach the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Space technology can play a "crucial role" in addressing the complex and diverse challenges which confront us all, he said, ranging from natural disasters to devastating impacts of climate change.

In addition, with many new actors entering the space field and breaking new ground in uses of space, humankind needs "to ensure that space resources are used for peaceful purposes only, and in a sustainable manner compatible with international law", urged the Austrian President.


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