Delegations from Parliaments form several industrialised and emerging countries convened in Prague to discuss the use of satellite applications for emergency response.October 2010, Prague, Czech Republic. The Manager of UNOSAT addressed a meeting of International Parliamentarians organised by the International Astronautical Federation in connection with the 61st International Astronautical Congress . The Congress is a major annual event for the astrophysical community. This year more than 1500 attendees gathered in Prague, Czech Republic, over one week. UNOSAT was invited along with other prestigious entities active in satellite technology and applications.

UNOSAT demonstrated the practical use of an increasing range of satellite applications making a difference between what works in technology per se and what helps users and beneficiaries in facing their challenges during crisis and recovery. Speaking of the role of UNOSAT, Francesco Pisano said: “analysis is the most difficult and limited resource because it is based on human capital: good analysts are scarce, more so in the area of humanitarian aid and development planning. UNOSAT specialises entirely in analytical work, gathering data from space borne and air borne sensors and processing it into usable information in a range of international agendas”.

Ms Brenda Jones of the US Geological Survey speaking at the event concerning the practical use of the International Space Charter Space and Major Disasters. In the background a UNOSAT map illustrates how the benefits of the Charter become usable in the field.In reacting to the UNOSAT presentation, Christine Defraigne, Belgian Senator, said that “the evolution sparked by the Lisbon Treaty, which advocates for the implementation of a genuine European space policy, raises critical questions on project management and governance. So was it important to hear about the means that the United Nations have put in place for the benefit of the entire mankind”. “We have fully appreciated Mr Pisano’s presentation of the UNOSAT programme. The ultimate purpose is not to have top technology for the sake of it, but to harness the technology in a way that helps people in the field. The information generated and the mapping related to disasters must be shared for the sake of the improvement of citizens’ security.  In that we are convinced of the important role that UNOSAT should be playing in the coming years.”

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