Lectures on Space Policy and Law, Space Science and Technology - The Importance of the Work of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS)

2016-09-11  Share


General theme:

Space Policy and Law, Space Science and Technology - The importance of the work of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space(COPUOS)


Delivered by:
Sergio Camacho, Secretary General, Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education for Latin America and theCaribbean, Former Director of UNOOSA

Classes will be for three to four hours each day, Monday through Friday (12 – 16 September). If necessary or there is additional interest, classes would continue on Monday, 19 September. We shall proceed covering the topics shown below and stop at an appropriate place as we near the end of our class time for that morning or afternoon. At the next class, we will pick up from the item where we stopped.


There will be an examination at the end of the course to assess the knowledge acquired by the student. The proposed class schedule, which we will follow with flexibility is the following.


Monday, 2:00 – 6:00p.m.; 2 breaks

Tuesday, 10:00 – 12:00 and from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday,  2:00 – 6:00p.m.; 2 breaks

Thursday,  10:00 – 12:00 and from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Friday,  10:00 – 12:00 and from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., including the exam

Venue: Room 505, International School


1. The United Nations in the peaceful uses of outer space - the work of COPUOS

1.1 History

1.2 Process of the UN sessions – Scientific and Technical Subcommittee (STSC), Legal Subcommittee (LSC), COPUOS, Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee), General Assembly (GA)

1.3 STSC, LSC and COPUOS structure of their agendas; Working Groups of the three bodies

1.4 Bureau of the Committee and of its two Subcommittees

1.5 Consensus and other methods of work


2. The STSC

2.1 Discussion of all items on the Agenda

2.2 Discussion on the Working Group on Long-term Sustainability of Activities in Outer Space


3. The LSC

3.1 Discussion of all items on the Agenda


4. The COPUOS

4.1 Discussion of all items on the Agenda


5. The Fourth Committee (C.4) and the General Assembly

5.1 Annual Resolution on International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space


The international outer space treaties


6. The treaties

6.1 Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies

6.2 Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space


6.4 Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space

6.5 Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies


Principles related to outer space adopted by the General Assembly


7. The principles

7.1 Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space

7.2 Principles Governing the Use by States of Artificial Earth Satellites for International Direct Television Broadcasting

7.3 Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Outer Space

7.4 Principles Relevant to the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space

7.5 Declaration on International Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for the Benefit and in the Interest of All States, Taking into Particular Account the Needs of Developing Countries


Presentations on selected topics


8. Motivation and establishment of the regional centres for space science and technology education

9. Capacity Building at the Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education for Latin America and the Caribbean (CRECTEALC)

10. Presentation on the international response to the threat of an impact on Earth by an NEO

11. Presentation on the International Committee on GNSS and its relationship to COPUOS

12.  Presentation on UN-SPIDER

13. Other presentations as time allows.


Introduction of Sergio Camacho



Dr. Sergio Camacho is the Secretary General of the Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education for Latin America and the Caribbean. The Centre is affiliated to the United Nations and has a Campus in Brazil and a Campus in Mexico. He is a former Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UN-OOSA). Previously held the posts of Chief, Space Applications Section and before that, Chief, Committee Services and Research Section also at UN-OOSA. During his years at the United Nations he was instrumental in the establishment in 2005 of the International Committee on GNSS (ICG) and in 2006 of the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER).

Following his retirement from the United Nations, Dr. Camacho was the Chairman of the Action Team on Near Earth Objects (NEOs) of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and Chairman of the Working Group on NEOs of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of COPUOS. The work of the Action Team and of the Working Group led to the establishment of the International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN) and of the Space Mission Planning Advisory Group (SMPAG), the core elements of an international response to the threat of an impact to Earth by an asteroid. Dr. Camacho received his Ph. D. in Aerospace Science from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, in the United States and his Bachelor’s degree in physics from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.