Space and Global Health/History

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The Expert Focus Group on Space & Global Health has been established by the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee (STSC) of the United Nations Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS) The first meeting of the group was held on 5 February 2015 in Vienna. This focus group evolved from the earlier Action Team 6 established in 2001, and the subsequent AT 6 Follow-up Initiative (2012-15). The focused expert group reviews and analyses current uses of space (technology, applications, practices and initiatives) in support of globalhealth needs in order to: identify gaps; propose recommendations; and provide orientation for the future work of the STSC.

In February 14th, 2019 the proposal was accepted to request an official working group status for the former Expert Focus Group for Space and Global Health.

Status Year Description
Action Team 6 (AT6) 2001-2011 Based on UNISPACE III Recommendation 6 - Improve Health by Application of Space Technology
Action Team 6 Follow-Up Initiative (AT6) 2012-2015 Member State Activity without official status - transition period based on the Open Community Approach -
Expert Focus Group for Space and Global Health 2015-2019 Expert Focus Group Status established in 2015 -
Working Group for Space and Global Health since 2019 Proposal for working group status announces in Vienna COPUOS Scientific and Technical Subcommittee on February 14th, 2019

Health was addressed in the context of space technology in different organisational forms (see official UN documents on Space and Global Health[1]:

  • Action Team 6 (AT6): Improve Health by Application of Space Technology (UNISPACE III Recommendation 6), Chair: Canada
  • Action Team 6 Follow-Up Initiative (AT6FUI): As member state activity with side events at annual COPUOS meeting in February, Chair: Canada
  • Expert Focus Group for Space and Global Health (EFG-SGH): Topic organized as expert focus group in UNOOSA, Chair: Canada, Switzerland
  • Working Group for Space and Global Health (WG-SGH): Expert Focus Group became working group status Chair: Switzerland

"An important aspect of global health is the transnational impact that globalization exerts on the social, economic and cultural factors that determine good or bad health (known as health determinants) and health problems, something that is beyond the control of individual States. Global health emergencies, epidemics and early warning events can become threats to the stability of the international community. Issues related to environmental and climate change, such as air pollution and water quality, which are essential for human health and well -being, are also intrinsically transboundary. Space technology, supported by in situ observations, can provide important data for environmental, epidemiological and molecular models for disease risk forecasting and the formulation of policies to monitor environment, prevent outbreaks or contain epidemics. It is therefore important to promote enhanced cooperation and the exchange of information in this area." [2]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs UNOOSA - official documents on Space and Global Health (1995-2019) URL: http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/psa/globalhealth/index.html - (accessed 2019/06/11)
  2. Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (2018): Thematic priority 5: Strengthened space cooperation for global health. United Nations. A/AC.105/1172. http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/oosadoc/data/documents/2018/aac.105/aac.1051172_0.html