The Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), Ms Simonetta Di Pippo, and UN-SPIDER Coordinator Luc St-Pierre, visited the Ministry of Interior of the United Arab Emirates on 12 and 13 January 2015 to increase cooperation on technical capacity building on the use of space technologies for disaster risk reduction. The use of space technologies for disaster risk reduction is imperative for a country such as the Emirates.
The visit helped explore the options available for increasing collaboration on technical capacity building and advisory services. These include UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER providing support to the geographic information system (GIS) Center for Security of the Ministry of Interior of United Arab Emirates and assisting the GIS Centre to strengthen its ties with international mechanisms such as the International Charter Space and Major Disasters.
Ms. Di Pippo discussed with Major General Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, General Director of E-Services & Telecommunications of the UAE Ministry of Interior how the Emirates have been an invaluable partner for UNOOSA in promoting the use of space technologies for disaster risk reduction and emergency response. In recent years, the United Arab Emirates have been very active as observer to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, and have given substantial support to the United Nations Programme on Space Applications by hosting workshops and meetings from 2005 to 2013. This cooperation will continue the upcoming United Nations/United Arab Emirates High Level Forum on ‘Space as a driver for socio-economic sustainable development’ to take place in the UAE in November 2015.