The International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" has augmented the activation privileges of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). Under the new arrangement, UNOOSA can request the activation of the Charter on behalf of national disaster risk management (DRM) organizations in the framework of the Universal Access Trial Initiative.
UNOOSA is a Cooperating Body of the Charter and, since January 2003, has been able to request its activation on behalf of United Nations organizations engaged in disaster response activities. With the recent changes, the Office will be able to request the activation of the Charter directly upon a request from the disaster management agency of a Member State. As a result, there is no need to route such requests through UN organizations in the country anymore.
UNOOSA will use this privilege to activate the International Charter when a disaster occurs and subsequently support the requesting national DRM organizations in becoming an Authorized User (AU) of the Charter. Through UN-SPIDER and its activities, the Office will continue promoting the Universal Access Initiative with the goal of making national DRM users aware of the initiative and how to register for becoming an AU.
Currently, UN-SPIDER works with a network of 21 Regional Support Offices (RSO), some of which have and acted as project managers and value added providers for past activations of the Charter. UN-SPIDER will aim to support activations under the new arrangement with project managers and providers of value added products from among the RSO community.
The International Charter on "Space and Major Disasters" is a worldwide collaboration among space agencies through which satellite-derived information and products are made available to support disaster response efforts. The Charter has been operational since November 2000.