For the Benefit of Humankind: Understanding How Space Activities Improve Life on Earth

When: Friday, October 21, 2022

Where: UNHQ, New York, NY

There are numerous multilateral initiatives taking place within the United Nations dealing with space and sustainability issues. In the face of so many global crises, it could seem unnecessary to focus on space matters when other urgent matters require the attention of policy makers. Yet many of the solutions we seek require data and services derived from satellites and space-based research.

Secure World Foundation and the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a panel discussion at UN Headquarters in NY intended to raise awareness about the myriad of benefits derived from space-based services that impact people around the world on a day-to-day basis. This discussion particularly aimed to provide information for delegates at the United Nations of the importance of space to their work. Notably, the event showed how space activities support UN development initiatives such as the UN Development Goals and the Secretary-General’s “Our Common Agenda”. Moreover, this panel discussion highlighted the importance of space sustainability, tying them to larger discussions about space security and safety in various UN bodies such as the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and the Open-Ended Working Group on reducing space threats.  

Opening remarks: Ambassador Maritza Chan-Valverde, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations

Moderator: Ana Avila, Minister Counselor, Permanent Mission of costa Rica to the United Nations


  • Caroline Juang, PhD Candidate and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program Fellow at Columbia University
  • Mark Iliffe, Geographer at the United Nations Statistics Division
  • Peter Martinez, SWF Executive Director 
Last updated on February 3, 2023