Saudi Space Commission Highlights Saudi Arabia’s Space Progress and Legacy at UN Commission’s Annual Meeting
The Saudi Space Commission (SSC) represented the Kingdom at the 23rd Session of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) held from 10 to 12 June in a virtual format.
The United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) is a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), mandated with the provision of high-level advice on science and technology to the United Nations General Assembly.
The Commission’s meetings this year centered on two themes: (1) Harnessing rapid technological change for inclusive and sustainable development; and (2) Exploring space technologies for sustainable development and the benefits of international research collaboration. Discussions also included harnessing science, technology and innovation to accelerate the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs) under the Covid-19 pandemic.
SSC’s delegation was headed by Eng. Majid Al-Anzi, Head of Operations and Space Programs, who presented a working paper on the exploration of space technologies as a catalyst of sustainable development and the benefits of international research cooperation.
The Saudi team debriefed the Commission on the Kingdom’s key contributions to the space industry that encompassed the formation of Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat) in 1976, dispatching HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman aboard NASA’s STS-51-C mission in 1985 as the first Arab and Muslim astronaut; launching several satellites; executing joint research programs; and most recently forming the SSC to regulate all space-related activities in the Kingdom.
The Saudi Ministry of Economy and Planning and Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) also took part in this year’s meetings, with the SSC and MCIT delivering a joint speech on the progress made in realizing sustainable development goals (SDG) in Saudi Arabia.
The CSTD was created in 1992 as a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of the six main organs of the United Nations, to provide advisory to the UN General Assembly and Economic and Social Council. Its advice helps guide future direction, develop common policies and approve appropriate actions.
The Saudi Space Commission (SSC) was established by a royal order in December 2018 with the strategic mandate of regulating the space industry and its associated activities. Since its formation, it has formulated a progressive national space strategy for the Kingdom and engaged in several international endeavors.