The United States hosted the International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF), the first-ever ministerial-level meeting to build support for global cooperation in space exploration, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on January 9, 2014.
ISEF brought together Ministers and high-level officials from approximately thirty-five space-faring countries to talk about the opportunities and challenges they share. ISEF participants included officials from more than 30 developed and developing countries and international organizations, including the European Union, Japan, Russia, China, India, South Korea, Brazil, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia.
The gathering featured high-level, policy discussions about the future of space exploration, developments in robotic space exploration, extending humanity’s reach beyond low-Earth orbit, and the importance of international cooperation.
ISEF builds on a process started at the 2011 High-Level International Space Exploration Dialogue hosted by the European Union, the European Space Agency, and the Government of Italy in Lucca, Italy.
Deputy Secretary of State, William J. Burns, gave the ISEF opening remarks.
In his remarks, Burns said the U.S. is working with the European Union and other countries to develop an International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities. “We also would welcome international support for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission, which, among other things, will help us learn how to better defend our planet from a catastrophic asteroid collision,” he said.
A video of the Burns presentation to the International Space Exploration Forum can be viewed here:
By Leonard David