UN-SPIDER strengthens Universal Access to the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters

On 16 October, Luc St-Pierre, Coordinator of UN-SPIDER, presented via teleconference the 2014 report of activities of UNOOSA in support to the International Charter: Space and Major Disaster (International Charter) during the Charter Board Meeting in Incheon, Republic of Korea. The report highlighted the actions taken by UNOOSA and UN-SPIDER in promoting the Charter's Universal Access initiative, started in September 2012. The initiative aims to widen the user access from the previously restricted group of authorized users who were able to access the mechanism. With the Universal Access approach, all countries can nominate a focal point authorized to activate the mechanism to receive satellite data and derived products for a specific emergency situation.

As the UN-SPIDER programme aims to ensure that all countries have access to all types of space-based information to support the full disaster management cycle, including disaster response, it fully embraced the approach and promotes it actively among its stakeholders. For example, during its one-week Technical Advisory Missions, the programme usually includes a training module on the International Charter and ways to trigger it, namely through the Universal Access.

Mr. St-Pierre also proposed to strengthen Universal Access through collaborations with UN-SPIDER's global network of Regional Support Offices and National Focal Points to raise awareness on the benefits of, and facilitate access to the International Charter. For instance, UN-SPIDER has closely collaborated with its Regional Support Office in Argentina, CONAE, to increase the reach of Universal Access in Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America.

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Referenced UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office: 

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