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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

International Space Exploration Forum

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 9, 2014


The United States will host the International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF), the first-ever ministerial-level meeting to build support for global cooperation in space exploration, at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC on January 9, 2014. ISEF will bring together Ministers and high-level officials from approximately thirty-five space-faring countries to talk about the opportunities and challenges they share. It will feature high-level, policy discussions about the future of space exploration, developments in robotic space exploration, extending humanity’s reach beyond low-Earth orbit, and the importance of international cooperation.

Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns will give the ISEF opening remarks. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Assistant to the President for Science and Technology John P. Holdren will participate as keynote speakers.

Space exploration benefits all humankind, and it is essential for governments to work together internationally to advance shared objectives for space exploration. Such collaboration has facilitated the development of new technologies, realized commercial opportunities, identified opportunities for shared missions such as the International Space Station, and inspired younger generations to undertake the challenge of space exploration.

Purpose and Objectives

ISEF aims to achieve a strong affirmation among governments that exploration and utilization of space benefit all mankind and, with this recognition, to facilitate a productive dialogue about models and best practices for international cooperation.

ISEF builds on a process started at the 2011 High-Level International Space Exploration Dialogue hosted by the European Union, the European Space Agency, and the Government of Italy in Lucca, Italy.

This Forum directly supports the 2010 U.S. National Space Policy. President Obama has outlined a commitment to engage in expanded international cooperation in space activities; invest and develop new and advanced technologies and concepts; promote innovation; and improve public awareness of government space activities.

ISEF will feature high-level policy discussions about the future of space exploration, developments in robotic space exploration, extending humanity’s reach beyond the lower-Earth orbit, and the importance of international cooperation to achieve these goals.

ISEF will highlight innovative and collaborative approaches to the exploration and utilization of space, including the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, the International Space Exploration Coordination Group, and the International Space Station.


ISEF participants will include Ministers and high-level officials from more than 30 developed and developing countries and international organizations, including the European Union, Japan, Russia, China, India, South Korea, Brazil, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia.

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