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Latin American and Caribbean Space Agency Created

MEXICO CITY (Argentina National Commission for Space Activities PR) — Within the framework of the VI Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), held in Mexico City, last Saturday, September 18, 2021, Argentina signed the Constitutive Agreement of the Latin American and Caribbean Space Agency (ALCE), as an international organization in charge of coordinating cooperation activities in the space field of Latin American and Caribbean countries, for the use and peaceful exploration of outer space, the Moon and other celestial bodies.

This initiative was achieved after the Declaration on the Constitution of a Regional Cooperation Mechanism in the space field was signed in October 2020, with the participation of seven countries in the region: Argentina, Mexico, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Honduras and Costa Rica. Going forward, the FTAE will be open to all States in the region that ratify the Convention .

During his participation in CELAC, Juan Carlos Valle Raleigh, Undersecretary for Latin American Affairs of the Nation, highlighted: “The Latin American and Caribbean Space Agency is a very important achievement, with Argentina’s interest in its aerospace development. The fact that it has already been opened for signature and that there are a very important number of countries that have signed it allows us to promptly ratify and put it into practice, and to start working on an issue that is beneficial to all ” .

The idea of a regional space agency has been a long-standing aspiration of the National Commission for Space Activities (CONAE), within the scope of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of the Nation, and has been included in the National Space Plan since early 2000s. In this sense, Argentina is convinced of the importance of space exploration as a tool to promote national technological development and, through its innumerable applications, contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Raúl Kulichevsky, Executive and Technical Director of CONAE, explained that the creation of the regional space agency is a strategic objective contemplated by the National Space Plan. For this, the Argentine agency has worked hard to establish links with its peers in the region, generating opportunities for exchange and growth. 

“It is an old dream that we have at CONAE. In 2020 we began to take the first steps by signing an agreement of intention with Mexico, to which other countries have subsequently joined. There is an awareness that it is easier to achieve ambitious goals from collaboration and among all Latin American countries,” he indicated. “One of our great objectives is to work together with the countries of the region. “

Regional Collaboration

As stated in its act of creation, the ALCE is an international organization for peaceful purposes, for the benefit of cooperation between member states, without discrimination, in exploration, research, space technology activities and their applications , which contribute and strengthen the comprehensive and sustainable development of the region’s spatial scope, for the benefit of the Latin American and Caribbean population.

In the style of the European Space Agency (ESA), the ALCE aims to promote links and coordination between the countries of the region in space matters, carry out activities related to the exploration and peaceful use of outer space, the Moon and other bodies. celestial, and carry out research and training activities, among other aspects. In addition, it will seek to contribute to the development of satellite technology for the region, respecting the rights of the member states and their space agencies, within the framework of their sovereign policies.

Among the activities that are expected to begin to be promoted with the creation of the ALCE , the need to generate spatial information related to climate change and coordinate efforts for the management of environmental emergencies stands out. In this sense, it is proposed to develop an early warning system for the prevention of disasters caused by natural and anthropic phenomena, based on the exchange of satellite data and the adoption of common methodologies and tools that can be used in the region. It will also seek to promote the implementation of the Space 2030 Agenda in the region.

Finally, it is emphasized that activities developed in the scope of the ALCE will be carried out considering the priorities of the region, the contribution to sustainable development and the strengthening of the regional spatial scope, for the benefit of the Latin American and Caribbean population.

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