UAE Flag
UAE Flag Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: The UAE has won the presidency of the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, it was announced on Wednesday.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who expressed his pride in the new achievement, made the announcement.

“I am proud of the UAE’s win of the presidency of the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space that includes 100 countries to ensure their just and peaceful reach to the outer space,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

Omran Sharaf, Project Director of the Emirates Mars Mission, has been named as the Director of the UN Committee.

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Omran Sharaf Image Credit: Supplied

President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan wished Sharaf success in his new role and noted UAE’s contributions to the space sector.

Who is Omaran Sharaf?

Omran Sharaf is the Project Director of Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). He and his team are responsible for developing, launching and operating Hope Probe, the first Arab interplanetary mission.

Sharaf has worked on the project since inception in 2014 and developed all the necessary capabilities and partnerships at MBRSC, effectively transitioning the organisation from one that focused on earth observation satellites to one that develops interplanetary exploration missions.

Prior to EMM, he was director of the Programmes Management Department at MBRSC, and responsible for defining new strategic programmes.

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Sarah Bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency, said: “It’s a great honour for the Emirates to take the chair of COPOUS, particularly as we founded our space program on international partnerships and collaboration and continue to place these partnerships at the core of our space sector development.”

She added: “This is a huge honour and a tremendous chance to serve the global space sector. As both a young nation and a relatively new entrant to the space sector, we have benefited from the amazing work of the pioneers who have gone before us. Alongside that heritage, we have also found scope to innovate and challenge what have become accepted norms and we look forward to bringing a spirit of open dialogue and co-operation but also seeking to define solutions and new ways of looking at some of the emerging challenges and opportunities facing our sector and, indeed humanity.”

About the committee

The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space reviews and fosters international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, as well as considering legal issues arising from the exploration of outer space.

The committee currently has almost 100 members who meet annually in Vienna, Austria at the Vienna International Centre in June. Additionally, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee tends to meet in February, while the Legal Subcommittee usually meets in April.