UNOOSA and KSA Collaborate under Space Law for New Space Actors Project

Republished from UNIS's website

According to the statement, released by the office of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the organisation and the Kenya Space Agency (KSA) have agreed to collaborate under the “Space Law for New Space Actors” project. The collaboration will include a technical advisory mission to Nairobi, Kenya, in the first half of 2023 to provide capacity-building and legal advisory services tailored to regulatory authorities in Kenya. This activity is made possible by the generous contribution of the Government of France, a donor to the Space Law for New Space Actors project.

Per the details released by UNOOSA, the project will assess Kenya’s needs in the area of international space law, taking into account the country’s specific judicial, administrative, and technical requirements. The project’s primary objectives are to establish a cross-government focal point network to organise international expertise and provide peer-to-peer networking opportunities, in-person training, and joint promotion of the project as it is implemented.

The Space Law for New Space Actors project offers UN Member States ad-hoc capacity-building to draft national space legislation and/or national space policies in line with international space law and the normative framework to achieve the long-term sustainability of outer space activities. Further, the project raises awareness of and promotes adherence to the existing normative framework governing outer space activities, particularly the five international space law treaties developed and concluded under the United Nations, namely the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).

The Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (Outer Space Treaty), celebrates its 55th Anniversary this year and serves as the foundation of international space law. Since the Outer Space Treaty, UN Member States have agreed and adopted a growing list of treaties, principles, and guidelines that collectively constitute the normative framework defining responsible activities in outer space. This framework has been instrumental in delivering the safe and sustainable space environment that has enabled over half a century of exponential growth in space activities and the global space economy.

Acting Director of UNOOSA, Niklas Hedman, said: “Building on the great support and cooperation that Kenya has been providing to UNOOSA activities for many years, we are looking forward to the opportunity to deliver capacity-building and advisory services to the country. We are confident that this activity will result in greater acceptance, adherence to, and implementation of the United Nations Treaties on Outer Space, as well as possible new space legislation, policy or strategies in Kenya. Finally, I would like to thank the Government of France for funding this opportunity.”

Kenya Space Agency Ag Director General Brigadier Hillary B. Kipkosgey, said: “UNOOSA has been a beneficial partner to Kenya through its Access to Space for All initiatives. However, space is a novel area, and emerging space-faring countries like Kenya are still building their human and technical capacity in space science and technologies. Therefore, Kenya appreciates the support and goodwill of France as a donor country to facilitate experts from UNOOSA to offer technical expertise and guidance as we seek to create an enabling policy and legal and regulatory framework for space activities in Kenya. We look forward to future collaborations and partnerships.”

Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations and International Organisations in Vienna, Delphine Hournau-Pouëzat, said: “France is committed to the principle of free access to space and supports the efforts made by UNOOSA in building capacities in the space sector for emerging space-faring countries. The Space Law for New Space Actors project allows all nations to enjoy the socio-economic benefits of space infrastructure.

This programme is instrumental in developing a common understanding and sharing experiences on implementing the Space Treaty and ensuring the sustainability of space activities. Furthermore, France is pleased to collaborate with UNOOSA and Kenya, a country dynamically advancing its space sector and contributing to space development in Africa.”