From October 30 to November 11, 2017, United Nations/Russian Federation Workshop on Human Capacity-Building in Space Science and Technology for Sustainable Social and Economic Development was held at Samara National Research University, Samara, Russian Federation. Nearly one hundred (100) people from thirty-eight (38) countries, such like scientists, government officials, scholars of universities and research institutes, were invited to attend it. Ms. Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), Mr. Rene Pischel, Head of Permanent Mission, European Space Agency, Mr. Dmitry Azarov, Samara Region Governor, Russian Federation, Mr. Evgeniy Shakhmatov, Rector of Samara National Research University attended the opening ceremony.
Mr. Weng Jingnong, Executive Director of the Centre was invited to attend the workshop. As a panelist, he shared his opinions about the theme and proposed that all the countries should share responsibility and resources, seek common development and promote the sustainable development of human society to meet the new space era.
Mr. Weng Jingnong was also invited as a session chair at the session of "New Methodologies and the Way Forward for Capacity Building". In addition, he gave a report entitled "Alliance of the UN Regional Centres", which gave a detailed introduction of Alliance of the Regional Centres (ARC for short) from the aspects of its vision, mission, organizational structure, logo design, work plan, future development, etc. At the same time, it was proposed that all the six (6) Centres should pursue further cooperation and take advantage of the resources of all the sixty-six (66) Member States to actively promote the development of the UN Programme on Space Applications and make contribution to the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNSPACE+50).
During the workshop, Mr. Weng Jingnong communicated with Ms. Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of UNOOSA, Mr. Lorant Czaran, and the directors of the other Regional Centres. The proposed framework of ARC was approved and the joint publication was discussed. It was planned to publish "Regional Centres: History and Future" for the celebration of UNISPACE+50. On behalf of UNOOSA, Mr. Lorant Czaran reaffirmed the proposal of ARC, and expressed that full support would be given for its future development. It is hoped that ARC would be a key alliance in encouraging space science and technology capacity-building in the world.
The workshop, co-organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and Samara National Research University, provided a good platform for experts from various countries in the field of space science and technology applications through two (2) keynote addresses, one (1) high level panel, nine (9) Sessions and three (3) penal discussions. The outcomes and recommendations emanating from the workshop will be of particular importance as they provide inputs to a report on "Capacity building for the 21st Century" for consideration in June 2018 at UNISPACE+50, a high-level segment of the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. It also actively promoted the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Founded in 1942, Samara National Research University was originally named after academician S.P. Korolev. It is one of the fastest-developing Russian institutions of higher education. It was renamed as Samara National Research University in 2016. As of 2013, it has been included in the program for improving the competitiveness of Russian universities among the world's top science-and-education centers (Project 5-100). The scientific and education activity of Samara University encompasses aerospace technologies, engine-building, and modern methods of information processing, as well as the fundamental technical and natural sciences and the humanities. The university has formulated a world-class, unique research and educational complex, which involves the students directly in all stages of development, creation and testing of spacecraft. Representatives of Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) also attended the workshop. Nearly twenty (20) Chinese students from Northwestern polytechnical University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Nanjing University of Science and Technology are currently working in Samara National Research University on their PhD and postdoctoral research.