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logo for the Department of StateThe DoS continued its efforts to coordinate international agreements and arrangements for cooperation on the International Space Station (ISS). During FY 2000, DoS made preparations for the first meeting of the partners to the ISS Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA). Originally scheduled for fall 2000, it ultimately took place in Berlin in December 2000. At the meeting, delegations expressed great satisfaction with the significant progress that has been made in assembling the ISS on orbit. The successful launch of the Expedition One crew marked the beginning of a permanent human presence onboard the ISS. With the recent successful missions, the ISS has now initiated integrated operations, allowing initial research onboard the ISS. This progress demonstrates that the ISS management structure is functioning on the basis of genuine partnership, as envisioned in the IGA.

During FY 2000, the DoS led U.S. Government participation in the United Nations’ Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). The Committee was formed in 1958 and is the only standing body of the United Nations to consider international cooperation in the exploration of outer space. Over the past year, the Committee undertook important work in areas such as orbital space debris, meteorology, astronomy and astrophysics, space transportation, human space flight, planetary exploration, and environmental monitoring. The Committee also considered legal issues related to international liability and responsibility of launching states and equitable access to geostationary orbit.

The DoS continued to lead an interagency effort to promote the U.S. GPS as a worldwide standard for satellite-based navigation and to protect the spectrum in which GPS operates. Diplomatic efforts included visits by U.S. experts to more than than a dozen foreign capitals for discussions on GPS-related issues. These efforts directly contributed to the successful achievements of U.S. objectives at the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC). Most significantly, the WRC defeated Resolution 220 (a proposal to share the spectrum used by GPS L1 with mobile satellite systems) and approved a new allocation of spectrum for additional GPS signals which are a part of the modernization of GPS capabilities. The DoS also led the preparation of a draft framework agreement between the United States and the European Community on satellite navigation systems. This draft was provided to the European Commission and the European Union member states in October 2000.

 
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