COSPAR Charter

Approved by the COSPAR Council by correspondence vote in June 1998 and approved by ICSU during the 76th Executive Board meeting held 5 – 6 October 1998 in Paris, France.


COSPAR shall be a Scientific Committee of ICSU, now the International Science Council (ISC).

Its objectives shall be 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. This shall be achieved through the organization of scientific assemblies, publications or any other means.

COSPAR shall report to ISC on its activities and provide scientific advice on matters concerning scientific space research to the UN and other organizations as required.

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COSPAR shall consist of two kinds of Members:

(1) National Scientific Institutions, as defined by ISC, which are engaged in space research and seek membership in COSPAR,

(2) International Scientific Unions federated in ISC which seek membership in COSPAR.

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The Committee on Space Research may recognize as COSPAR Associated Supporters public or private organizations or individuals wishing to support activities mandated by the Charter.

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COSPAR shall be governed by a Council consisting of:

(1)       the President of COSPAR,
(2)       representatives of the Member National Scientific Institutions,
(3)       representatives of the Member International Scientific Unions,
(4)       chairs of the COSPAR Scientific Commissions, and,
(5)       the chair of the COSPAR Finance Committee.

The Council shall be responsible for the formulation, approval and execution of all plans and policies of COSPAR.

Between meetings of the Council, a Bureau shall be responsible for administering and conducting the affairs of COSPAR in accordance with policies defined and directives given by the Council. The Bureau shall consist of the President and Vice-Presidents of COSPAR, and six other members elected by the Council. Any changes in the By-laws concerning the election of the COSPAR Bureau are subject to the agreement of the ISC Executive Board.

Scientific Commissions shall be responsible for all scientific activities of COSPAR. They shall consist of the individual associates of COSPAR who shall elect from among themselves chairs and other officers as required.

There shall be a Finance Committee consisting of the chair and at least two members. It shall oversee COSPAR finances and present regular reports and recommendations on financial matters to the Bureau and Council.

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  1. COSPAR shall conduct its business according to ISC rules for Scientific and Special Committees.
  2. By-Laws and Procedures shall be established within the framework of this Charter and the ISC rules for Scientific and Special Committees.
  3. COSPAR may establish subsidiary bodies for the examination of special issues.
  4. The President of COSPAR shall keep the Secretary General of ISC fully and promptly informed of COSPAR activities.

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COSPAR may seek to modify or change its Charter.

  1. Changes in the Charter proposed by members of the Council shall be submitted to the President for discussion by the Bureau at least one year before the Council meeting at which approval is sought.
  2. Changes in the Charter proposed by the Bureau shall be submitted to the members of the Council three months before the Council meeting at which approval is sought.
  3. Changes in the Charter shall be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Council.
  4. Changes in the Charter shall become effective after approval by ISC.

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