2022 Autumn Conferment of Decoration

On November 3, 2022, the Government of Japan announced the conferment of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon on Ms. Simonetta Di Pippo, Former Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, in recognition of her contribution to enhancing Japan's international outreach and presence in the field of space activity.
Mr. Di Pippo served as Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) from March 2014 to March 2022. She contributed to the launch of the “KiboCUBE” program in 2015 in collaboration with UNOOSA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
“KiboCUBE” is a pioneering international cooperation program that provides developing countries with opportunities to deploy cube satellites (CubeSats) which they develop and manufacture from the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" of the International Space Station (ISS), utilizing UNOOSA’s expertise and network with its member countries. The program aims at encouraging space development in developing countries, which do not have satellite launch capabilities.
With her continuous support, this program is now in its eighth year, and to date, educational and research institutions from seven countries and one intergovernmental organization (Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Tunisia, and Central American Integration Organization) have been selected through six open rounds by UNOOSA. Four institutions (Guatemala, Kenya, Mauritius, and Moldova) have already successfully completed satellite releases from the ISS. These participating countries are now working toward the next step of their space activity, such as the development of future satellites, utilizing the knowledge and experience they have gained through the program. As such, the program has been contributing to the development of space activities in their respective countries, and we received appreciation for the program from the participating countries and members.
Even after the launch of the program, Ms. Di Pippo took the opportunity of various meetings to actively communicate the significance and achievements of this program as a particularly outstanding initiative that contributes to the capacity-building of developing countries. Thanks to her dedication, this program has been widely recognized as Japan’s leading initiative. As a result, the presence of and the trust in Japan in the field of peaceful uses of outer space have been greatly enhanced.
Since these achievements could not have been realized without her active and continuous efforts and support, her contribution has been highly appreciated.
Additionally, Japan has been expanding its cooperation with UNOOSA in the "Space Law for New Space Actors" project since 2021. The project was initiated under the leadership of Ms. Di Pippo, and through the project, Japan is supporting capacity-building in Asia-Pacific countries to draft national legislation and policy on space, as well as to raise awareness of the existing normative framework.
The Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna extends its sincere congratulations to Ms. Simonetta Di Pippo on the Conferment.
Decorations and Medals in Japan (Cabinet Office)
Conferment of Decorations on Foreign Nationals (MOFA)
KiboCUBE program (United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs)