The IAF has relationships with a number of partner organizations, including:

Non-Governmental Organizations:

International Academy of Astronautics (IAA)

IAA_fd1e8aThe IAA is a non-governmental organization established in the 1960s and recognised by the United Nations in 1996. Its international community of leading experts works closely with national and international space agencies, industry and the academic community to determine space needs and objectives, help shape policy and foster cooperation.

To this end, IAA activities include cosmic studies, position papers, conferences, publications and awards.

The Academy also facilitates professional communication, develops and promotes new ideas and initiatives, engages the public, and strives to foster a sense of community among its members.

Visit the IAA site

International Institute of Space Law (IISL)

ISSl_497653Founded in 1960, the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) is an independent non-governmental organization dedicated to fostering the development of space law. In the pursuit of its stated purpose, the IISL organizes meetings, colloquia and competitions on legal and social science aspects of space activities, oversees the preparation and commissioning of studies and reports, and publishes books and proceedings on space law.

The membership of the Institute is composed of individuals and institutions from more than forty countries who have been elected on the basis of their contributions to the field of space law or other social sciences related to space activities.

The IISL holds its annual Colloquium on current issues in space law at the International Astronautical Congress and the Colloquium Proceedings are published by Eleven International Publishing.

Visit the IISL site

Committee on Space Research (COSPAR)

cospar_1458c3The objectives of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) are to promote on an international level scientific research in space, with emphasis on the exchange of results, information and opinions, and to provide a forum, open to all scientists, for the discussion of problems that may affect scientific space research. These objectives are achieved through the organisation of Scientific Assemblies, capacity building workshops, and symposia. For many years the Committee’s Scientific Assemblies, now organised on a biennial schedule, have been recognized by the international scientific community as unique forums for the presentation of research results and the development of cooperation in the field of space. Another way in which COSPAR promotes its objectives is through the publication of scientific papers in Advances in Space Research (ASR), the Committee’s peer-reviewed journal, which allows for rapid dissemination of recent results.

Visit the COSPAR site

space generation advisory council (SGAC)

The Space Generation Advisory Council in Support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications is a global non-governmental, non-profit (US 501(c)3) organization and network which aims to represent university students and young space professionals ages 18-35 to the United Nations, space agencies, industry, and academia. Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, the SGAC network of members, volunteers and alumni has grown to more than 13 000 members representing more than 150 countries. SGAC was conceived at UNISPACE III in 1999, whereby states resolved, as part of the Vienna Declaration, “To create a council to support the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, through raising awareness and exchange of fresh ideas by youth. The vision is to employ the creativity and vigour of youth in advancing humanity through the peaceful uses space”. SGAC holds Permanent Observer status at the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS) and regularly takes part in the annual meeting, as well as its Legal and Scientific and Technical Subcommittees. SGAC holds consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC), contributing to discussions on the role of space in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Visit the SGAC site


Intergovernmental Organizations



The Unites Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs implements the decisions of the General Assembly and of the Committee of the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). The office has the dual objective of supporting the intergovernmental discussions in the Committee and its Scientific and Technical Subcommitee (S&T) and Legal Subcommittee, and of assisting developing countries in using space technology for development. In addition, it follows legal, scientific and technical developments relating to space activities, technology and applications in order to provide technical information and advice to Member States, international organizations and other United Nations Office.

The IAF has been given Permanent Observer status at UNOOSA in 1976. The UN/IAF workshop, jointly organised by IAF and UNOOSA is held in conjunction with the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) and takes place during three days preceding the IAC.  The UN/IAF Workshop provides a unique forum for discussions among space experts, policy and decision makers, and representatives from academic community and private industry. The reports of the UN/IAF Workshops, including findings and recommendations formulated by the participants, are presented to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

Visit the UNOOSA site

UNITED NATIONS educational, scientific and cultural organisation (UNesco)

UNESCOThe United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. Its purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter.

The IAF was granted with Consultative Status to UNESCO from 1958-1995. The IAF initially admitted to the former Category B, was given Informal Relations status with the adoption of the new Directives in 1995. Since then a fruitful and substantial cooperation has developed over the last few years, ranging from the field of natural hazards, to the field of Global Observation, Space and Education, and Ecology and Natural World Heritage Site Monitoring. In addition, there is more active participation in IAF annual congresses, where UNESCO staff participates as session conveners, “rapporteurs” of scientific committees and exhibit organizers. A special effort was made for UNESCO to participate in the “World Space Congress” (Houston, Texas, 10-19 October 2002). The cooperation between UNESCO and United Nations bodies is also being strengthened via the collaboration with IAF, especially with the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). An educational workshop was organized in UNESCO Headquarters with IAF on the secondary education curricula development in the fields of Space Science. The cooperation with different space agencies has been reinforced through contacts with IAF and its network of scientists, engineers, educators and policy makers.  On 21st March 2007, UNESCO and the IAF held a celebration of 50 Years of the Space Age at the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris. On that date, UNESCO and the IAF also signed a partnership agreement, pledging support for the UNESCO and European Space Agency Open Initiative on the use of space technologies to monitor natural and cultural heritage of UNESCO sites. The joint IAF/UNESCO Global Space Applications Conference (GLAC 2014), dedicated to reviewing the state of the art in space-based services and applications at a global level, was a first in the history of the IAF and of UNESCO. It took place from 2nd to 4th June 2014 at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. GLAC 2014 provided an excellent opportunity to review cutting-edge satellite-based applications from a holistic perspective. More than 250 participants from 40 countries attended the conference and the programme included four plenary sessions and 15 technical sessions. The Conference brought together the global satellite-based services community, including senior representatives of the major space agencies, industry, governments, academia and NGOs. This successful conference covered a wide range of space-based services and applications and presented speakers from both advanced space faring nations and from emerging nations.

Visit the UNESCO site


itu-international_telecommunication_union-logoThe International Telecommunication Union is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs.

The IAF was granted Observer Status to ITU in 1956. The IAF together with ITU will co-organise the Global Conference on Space and the Information Society GLIS 2016 which will be held in Geneva, Switzerland from 6 to 7 June 2016. GLIS 2016 will offer an ideal platform for discussion at a global level in UN Sustainable Developments Goals, Space Activities, Satellite Communications, Information Economy, Space Services and Security. The conference will feature an opening event, a wrap-up session and five plenary events.

Visit the ITU site

world metereological organiZation (wmO)

World-Meteorological-OrganizationThe World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It is the UN system’s authoritative voice on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the oceans, the climate it produces and the resulting distribution of water resources.

The IAF was accepted into Consultative Status to WMO in 1968.

Visit the WMO site

european space agency (esa)

esaIn a letter dated 27 November 1978, the IAF General Assembly at its meeting held in Munich on 17 September, voted unanimously to admit the European Space Agency as an Associated member of the IAF. ESA is a member of the IAF and, as a member, it plays a very important role in the organisation of the annual Congress; in addition ESA provides the IAF with a network of experts and staff that are of great help to the IAF Secretariat team. ESA has been very supportive to the organisation of the Congress and in particular, in addition to sending its staff, ESA sponsors a large number of students to attend the annual meeting since 1999.

Visit the ESA site

group on earth observation (geO)geo_banner

Established in 2005, GEO is a voluntary partnership of governments and organizations that envisions “a future wherein decisions and actions for the benefit of humankind are informed by coordinated, comprehensive and sustained Earth observations and information.” GEO Member governments include 101 nations and the European Commission, and 92 Participating Organizations comprised of international bodies with a mandate in Earth observations. Together, the GEO community is creating a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) that will link Earth observation resources world-wide across multiple Societal Benefit Areas – Biodiversity and Ecosystem Sustainability, Disaster Resilience, Energy and Mineral Resources Management, Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture, Infrastructure & Transportation Management, Public Health Surveillance, Sustainable Urban Development, Water Resources Management – and make those resources available for better informed decision-making.

On 15th January 2014, the IAF officially gained the status of Participating Organisation of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), which was officially accepted at the Group’s 10th Plenary Session in Geneva. The IAF also organised a side-event entitled “Opportunities in Global Space Applications: The IAF and GEOSS”. This included panelists from NASA, the Canadian and European Space Agencies, SANSA and UNCOPUOS. The IAF delegation also met with top management of NOAA, WMO, EUMETSAT and ESA.

Visit the GEO site

Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO)

APSCO is an inter-governmental organization dedicated to promote and strengthen the development of collaborative space programs among its Member States by establishing the basis for cooperation in peaceful applications of space science and technology. It is headquartered in Beijing, People’s Republic of China. The Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO) is the only inter-governmental space cooperation organization in Asia-Pacific region, with full international juridical personality and registered in the United Nations, which is the important platform for countries conducting multi-lateral cooperation in five major areas including space science, space technology, space application, space education and training, space laws and policies. Currently, cooperation and development are the trend of world and the common wish of Member States, as well as the value embodiment of APSCO, therefore integrating the preponderant resources for the conduction of space activities will effectively improve the capacity and level, also promote the sustainable social economic development among all Member States, and make the peaceful utilization of space serve for the common prosperity of Asia-Pacific region. During the past seven years since the establishment of APSCO, all Member States cooperated whole heartedly and obtained multiple achievements: major space cooperation projects including “Joint Small Multi Mission Satellite (SMMS) Constellation” and “Small Student Satellite (SSS)” have been approved for implementation, “Asia-Pacific Ground-Based Optical Space Objects Observation System (APOSOS)”has set up telescopes in several Member States, and initiated network observation. The Data Sharing Service Platform has been operating since 2012 and gains positive effects, hundreds of students from countries has received high-level space education and training, new development has been made in membership expansion with Mexico has formally applied for Observer.

The IAF and APSCO signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 15 November APSCO 10th Anniversary High Level Forum & 9th International Symposium Beijing, China  to further strengthen cooperation and promote constructive dialogue in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. This in turn will contribute positively to education and learning, and help promote, develop and reinforce links between scientists in the APSCO member states and the IAF user community in the various fields of space science.

Visit the APSCO site