Reconstruction of a public health center in Douentza, Mali. Photo: UNDP


Vienna/New York, 14 December
(United Nations Information Service) — The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have committed to work more closely together in the use of space technology for development around the world. On 6 December UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo and UNDP Director of the Bureau for Management Services' Office of Operations, Legal and Technology Services Bruce McCarron signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for this increased cooperation.

Under the MOU, UNOOSA and UNDP have agreed to focus on cooperation in the use of geo-spatial and space-based technologies for UNDP's activities, as well as coordination in activating emergency response mechanisms for the benefit of United Nations Member States. UNOOSA will work to provide UNDP with access to satellite imagery and analysis, and leverage UNDP's global user network to deliver space-based solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals. UNOOSA and UNDP have also undertaken to jointly organize annual outreach events and activities, such as conferences, seminars and workshops.

"The Office for Outer Space Affairs works closely with other United Nations entities to ensure that the benefits of space reach everyone, everywhere. We have had great success supporting UNDP in a pilot project to use satellite imagery to support reconstruction in Mali, and I am pleased that our partnership is being strengthened and formalized through this MOU. This is also a great example of Sustainable Development Goal 17 "Partnerships for the Goals", and of improving efficiencies and cooperation within the United Nations system," said Ms. Di Pippo.

"Within a year, more than 25 UNDP Country Offices used satellite technologies, sometimes in collaboration with other agencies. We look forward to further collaborate with UNOOSA and scale them up to all our projects in the field," said Susan McDade, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP's Bureau for Management Services.

The MOU was signed during the UNOOSA-UNDP Discovery Day on Geospatial Solutions for Sustainable Development. The Discovery Day, held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 6 December, brought together stakeholders from space agencies, private sector, educational institutes and United Nations entities to consider geospatial solutions that can aid the United Nations to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals.

The MOU between UNOOSA and UNDP entered into effect on 6 December 2017 and will remain in force until 31 December 2022.

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For more information, please contact:

Daria Brankin 
United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
Telephone: (+43 699) 1459 8718
Email: daria.brankin[at]un.org

Maria Drago
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Telephone: (+1-212) 906 6383
Email: maria.drago[at]undp.org

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