The conference will bring together politicians with industry leaders in space, avionics and defence technologies

President of Israel Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi will take part in a space conference in the inaugural edition of the Abu Dhabi Space Debate, which will take place on December 5 and 6, 2022, under the patronage of the UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The event organised by the UAE Space Agency with the participation of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Defence is intended to play a role in shaping global co-operation in the human exploration of space. The Indian Prime Minister 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.

President of Israel Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi
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 weaponization 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.

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

Al Amiri added: “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 will be joined by some 250-space agency and space sector leaders representing over 30 countries including Saudi Arabia, the USA, India, the UK, Korea, France and Japan.

Also, the event will witness the participation of private sector companies including Airbus, Northrop Grumman, Thales and Amazon together with legislators, academics and researchers whose work defines the future of space. With moderators such as the BBC’s Stephen Sackur leading discussions, the debate is intended to provoke an open, full and frank exchange and seek a resolution and concrete progress for the sector.

The Abu Dhabi Space Debate sets out to provide a platform for leaders and policymakers from the space sector around the world to review the opportunities and challenges facing the sector and aims to advance not only global dialogue and collaboration between nations but also forge concrete alliances, multilateral agreements and provide a platform to advance the sector as a whole.