NSS International Committee Responsibilities
The NSS International Committee is charged with fulfilling the role of NSS as a Non-Government Observer (NGO) Organization at the United Nations. It also works with other international organizations or US organizations with international roles in space advocacy and that may share common goals and activities that advance the NSS vision and mission of people living and working in space, the human settlement of space, the development of the space economy and the use of space resources for the dramatic benefit of humanity.
As an NGO at the United Nations, the NSS has an obligation to complete an annual report of its activities to the UN at the end of each calendar year which reflects the diverse range of activities of NSS which have international impacts. NSS representatives in New York attend meetings at UN Headquarters which cover a broad range of international issues.
The United Nations has embraced a Sustainable Development Agenda and Framework which comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide sustainable global development through 2030. These SDGs cross-cut many of the issues and activities of concern to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. NSS has participated both as an observer organization but also exercises its prerogative as an observer organization to make statements and presentations as well at various UN fora.
The United Nations also has a Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space (COPUOS) which meets at the United Nation’s Vienna International Center in Vienna Austria. This is also the location of the administrative offices of the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). As a space advocacy organization with a vision and mission and Roadmap for Space Settlement, NSS has since its founding been a thought leader in space settlement and economic development advocacy. The International Committee reflects the NSS in its presentations at UN COPUOS and its Subcommittees, which include the Science and Technology Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee.
The United Nations has a very complex structure with a Secretariat and many other organizational components. NSS with limited resources has infrequently interacted with this UN organizational diversity. These other components of the UN Organizational Structure (such as the UN University, UN Industrial Development Organization, International Telecommunications Union, or COSPAR, or IMF and World Bank) may also impact issues of humans living and working in space, space settlement, and the economic development of space and use of space resources for the dramatic benefit of humanity.
International Committee Functions, Advocacy, and Accountability
The International Committee also reflects the work of other NSS committees such as the Strategic Planning Committee and Policy Committee and reflects this work in the international realm under the direction of the NSS Executive Committee Chair and the approval of the Executive Committee. The Chair of the NSS International Committee presents a report on the activities of the International Committee at each of the main semi-annual Board of Directors meetings.
NSS International Committee members also sometimes interlock as members of other NSS committees such as Policy, Executive, Membership, Chapters, Project, Outreach and Education, and as members of NSS chapters.
The NSS International Committee membership and internal officers serve at the pleasure of the NSS Board of Directors (BOD) and are appointed by the Chair of the NSS Executive Committee after elections of the BOD and with the approval of the Executive Committee.
The International Committee meets at times determined by the Chair in consultation with other committee members, with a prepared agenda and supplemental information, and with minutes of prior meetings also prepared.
The International Committee may suggest or draft Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with other organizations for review by the Chair of the NSS Executive Committee and the approval of the Executive Committee.
April 2018 Presentation for the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Use of Outer Space
How NSS’ Vision of Space Settlement and Development can provide dramatic benefits to humanity in meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals