President of Israel Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi will address the inaugural Abu Dhabi Space Debate. The event on December 5 and 6 will host high-ranking officials and experts from the space industry.

Narendra Modi is set to give a video address to the gathering of global space agencies, government representatives and private sector leaders in space, avionics and defence technologies.

The event is being organised under the patronage of the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The UAE Space Agency is hosting it with the participation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Defence. It will help shape global cooperation in the human exploration of space.

Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency, said: “The Abu Dhabi Space Debate aims to create a diverse and inclusive discourse that forges concrete progress in advancing international cooperation, 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, cooperation and development in this vital sector.

“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.”

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 some 250 space agency and space sector leaders representing over 30 countries including Saudi Arabia, the US, India, the UK, Korea, France and Japan.

The event will see the participation of private sector companies including Airbus, Northrop Grumman, Thales and Amazon, along with legislators, academics and researchers whose work defines the future of space. 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 programmes.

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.

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