International Community reaches two Milestones in Enabling Communications Infrastructure for Emergency Response in Natural Disasters and Crises

    Brussels (ots) - The European Satellite Operators' Association (ESOA) and UNOSAT, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Operational Satellite Applications Programme, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Brussels today. This agreement constitutes a framework within which the two organisations plan to work together. The objective is to identify the appropriate satellite resources to optimise the deployment and use of satellite solutions for international development and emergency response. In addition they will further raise awareness within the user communities of the unique ability of satellite technology in humanitarian crises.

    This collaboration is a milestone in bringing more efficiency and coordination to the cooperation between the international humanitarian and development communities and private satellite operators.

    This comes only a few days after the World Radio Conference 2007 confirmed last Friday, 16th November in Geneva the uninterrupted, interference-free use of satellite C-band spectrum for the future. The C-band spectrum plays a crucial role in the humanitarian community for emergency communications and is to be standard radio frequency for all UN humanitarian communications adopted by UN Inter-Agency Standing Committee's Working Group on Emergency Telecommunications (WGET).

    Christodoulos Protopapas, ESOA's Chairman said: "I thank ESOA members for their outstanding collaboration that made this result possible. Particularly I thank UNOSAT, UN OCHA and the UN World Food Programme, for their interventions to support this 'life-saving' cause. In yesterday's news we heard about the number of people who will die in the Bangladesh floods because of the inability to communicate with and locate them  - this is where satellite communications, often using C-Band, play a life-saving role. With its decision, the WRC just took a huge step in maintaining an important global responsibility."

    For more information and picture material please contact ESOA Secretary General.

ots Originaltext: ESOA
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Aarti Holla-Maini
Secretary General
European Satellite Operators' Association
t: +32.2.550.35.75

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