October 1st, 2021
On 20 and 21 September 2021, the Italian Space Agency (ASI) hosted in Rome the second edition of the Space Economy Leaders Meeting, which witnessed, on the first day, the participation of the Heads of Space Agencies of the G20 countries, as well as the representatives of the European Commission, the European Space Agency (ESA), the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the OECD Space Forum, the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) and, on the second day, for the first time, the industry leaders of the G20 countries.
The initiative, launched in 2020 by the Saudi Space Commission (SSC), aims to raise awareness among the G20 community on the importance of the contribution of the space economy to the global economy, in such a way so as to question the community on whether the topic “space economy” should become part of the G20 agenda. The discussions of the G20 Space in Rome were structured around the theme “Space for People, Planet and Prosperity”, consistent with the three pillars of the Italian G20 Presidency.
The meeting was opened by Vittorio Colao, Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition, as well as the national Authority for Space and Aerospace Policies, and introduced by the President of ASI, Giorgio Saccoccia.
The first day ended with the adoption of the following three recommendations by the Heads of Agencies:
1. Recognising the critical role of the Space Economy within the global economy, the Leaders [of the Space Agencies of the G20 countries] agreed to continue the Space Economy Leaders’ Meetings launched by the Saudi Space Commission in 2020, and to discuss including the item “Space Economy” on future G20 agendas.
2. The Leaders will establish an informal Space Economy Leaders Advisory Group, composed of representatives of the G20 countries, to prepare for the next meeting and assess the value of these meetings.
3. Acknowledging that the outer space environment must be preserved for the benefit of present and future generations, the Leaders reaffirmed the necessity to address the growing hazard of space debris and the increasing congestion in Earth’s orbit. Leaders also encouraged efforts to support the implementation of the Guidelines for the Long-Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities, adopted within the United Nations through the work of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
The second day with the industrial leaders was opened by the President of ASI who stressed that Space Economy cannot exist without industry. The meeting was closed by the intervention of the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Manlio Di Stefano, who recalled the Italian proposal, as follows: “The Italian Space Agency and the Italian Industrial Delegation agree on the opportunity to propose the inclusion of the “Space Economy” item on the agenda of the Business 20 (B20) Forum, being the B20 the official G20 Engagement Group with the global business community”.