12/03/2020

Latin America and the Caribbean Space Agency coming up soon

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Marcelo Ebrard, Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations, reported on the progress to date in creating a Latin American and Caribbean space agency.

The Mexican Foreign Minister held a virtual meeting on the creation of a Latin American and Caribbean Space Agency with his counterparts from Bolivia, Rogelio Mayta; from Ecuador, Luis Benigno Gallegos; the executive director of the National Commission for Space Activities of Argentina; Raúl Kulichevsky, and representatives from Paraguay, Colombia, El Salvador, and Peru, along with other regional organizations.

Ebrard discussed the invitation brought forward from Mexico and Argentina to lay the foundations for a regional space agency’s constitution among interested nations. A declaration on the cooperation mechanism’s constitution was already signed on October 9, within the framework of the UN World Space Week.

Ebrard insisted on the significance of that declaration, stating that if Latin America and the Caribbean do not participate in the space race, it will be very likely the region’s countries will have more disadvantages in the fields of science and technology, translating into competitive weaknesses and other inabilities to solve social welfare problems.

“The Latin American and Caribbean Space Agency advances: Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Paraguay join. Colombia and Peru also participated as observers. We are already – with Argentina and Mexico – 8 nations building ALCE by 2021. We grew four times in one month.”
He said that this integration of Latin American and Caribbean nations would make it possible to jointly build small, medium, and large satellites, share the space segment infrastructure, and develop earth stations and terminal equipment, with significant economies of scale.

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The declaration is the product of the agreements reached at the Latin American and Caribbean Space Encounter, held on July 2, 2020, a part of Mexico’s Work Plan in its capacity as president pro tempore of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).