COMBO Modi and Isaac Herzog-1667472125097
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Israel President Isaac Herzog Image Credit: ANI/Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi: The upcoming Abu Dhabi Space Debate will host representatives of the world’s fast-growing space industry together with the President of Israel Isaac Herzog, and the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, the UAE Government Media Office announced on Thursday (November 3).

The event, which will be held in the capital on December 5 and 6, will be organised by the UAE Space Agency, with the participation of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Defence. It is intended to play a role in shaping global co-operation in the human exploration of space.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver a video address to the gathering of global space agencies, government representatives and private sector leaders in space, avionics and defence technologies.

“The Abu Dhabi Space Debate aims to create a diverse and inclusive discourse that forges concrete progress in advancing international co-operation, standards and policy-setting for the global space sector. At a time of unprecedented global challenges, this platform has a vital role to play in forging consensus, co-operation and development in this vital sector,” said Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency and the Abu Dhabi Space Debate Committee.

Sarah Al Amiri

“It has been an important goal for us as we approach the Debate that the world’s emerging space nations are represented, as well as legacy players. To that end we are delighted to be joined by representatives of the Romanian, Rwandan, Norwegian, Philippines and Portuguese space agencies, as well as global private sector pioneers. Some of the most exciting developments in the sector are now coming from these younger players and they are driving the expansion in global demand for access to space,” she added.

Speakers at the Debate include strategists such as Dr George Friedman, founder of Geopolitical Futures, Dr Robin Geiss, director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, and William Alberque, Director of Strategy, Technology, and Arms Control at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. They will be joined by about 250 space agency and space sector leaders representing over 30 countries including Saudi Arabia, the USA, India, the UK, Korea, France and Japan.

The event will also witness the participation of private sector companies including Airbus, Northrop Grumman, Thales and Amazon together with legislators, academics and researchers whose work defines the future of space. With moderators such as the BBC’s Stephen Sackur leading discussions, the Debate is intended to provoke an open, full and frank exchange and seek resolution and concrete progress for the sector.

The gathering will address issues ranging from the geopolitical impacts of space exploration to regulation and the respective roles to be played by the public and private sectors moving forward, the stability and security of space assets in view of the political turmoil rocking the industry and the development of national science and technology programs. The rise of mega constellations, the weaponisation of space assets, sustainability and the role of space systems in defence and intelligence gathering all form part of a comprehensive platform that holds the keys to the future development of the global space sector.

The Abu Dhabi Space Debate sets out to provide a platform for leaders and policy makers from the space sector around the world to review the opportunities and challenges facing the sector and aims to advance not only global dialogue and collaboration between nations but also forge concrete alliances, multilateral agreements and provide a platform to advance the sector as a whole.