The United Nations Association of Nigeria (UNAN) joins the United Nations Office on Space Affairs (UNOOSA), other Organisations of the UN family and the International community to celebrate the International Day of Human Space Flight.
Since 12 April 1961, when Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet Cosmonaut orbited the earth as the first man in space, tremendous progress has been made in promoting and expanding exploration of Outer space as the province of mankind and for peaceful uses and for benefits of mankind; and application of space technology has resulted in tremendous development for mankind in the area of Satelite telecommunications, and metrology for weather forecast, earth observatory Satelite for improved agriculture, and Disaster Risk reduction and Disaster Management.
UNAN recognizes the leading and commendable role of the UN through UNOOSA and the UN Committee on the peaceful uses of outer Space (COPOUS), established to promote International cooperation in the peaceful uses of Space. The efforts of the COPOUS with the backing of UNOOSA, has gone a long way to improve application of space technology for development, and also notably to reduceefforts at militaristicactivities inouter Space. We congratulate the UN for this achievement. And weuse this opportunity to acknowledge the contributory role of Nigerian Space experts Dr Abiodun Adigun who was a pioneer member and Space Expert at UNOOSA as the UN mapped out its Programme of Action in the field of peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
Happily, Nigeria like other developing countries has also joined the Space club by establishing its own Space Agencies The National Space Research and Development Agency (NARSDA) and NIGCOM SAT. Both agencies are making strenuous to ensure application of Space technology to meet our developmental goals, through the Nigerian earth observatory Satelite for remote sensing technology and communicationsatellites for domestic and international communications services. While commending managements of the two agencies in the pursuit of their respective mandate, we wish to stress that there is an urgent need for government and Universities to devote more attention to Outer Space Education and and application of Space technology to development. Consequently there is need for provision ofopportunities for younger Nigerians for career in this field to enable enable creation of required pool of skilled Personnel who will drive Nigeria’s Space Science and Technology Programs as Outer Space experts explore new frontiers on how take space science and technology can make significant contribution to the achievements of the Sustainable development goals.
In conclusion as the world celebrates the 2018 Human Space Flight day and prepares for UNISPACE 50, which will be held as a special segment of 61st Session of COPOUS in Vienna we call on the international community to use that event, as an opportunity to come up with appropriateProgamme of Action for continued exploration and peaceful uses of Outer Space for benefit of mankind and shared goal of development.
Engr. Ganiyu OWOLABI
UNAN Secretary General
11th April, 2018.