UN / OUTER SPACE

Preview Language:   Original
14-Oct-2010 00:02:28
Although denying that she was going to be appointed ambassador to greet space aliens, Mazlan Othman, Director of the Office for Outer Space Affairs says that statistically the chances are that some sort of life form in space does exist. UNTV

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STORY: UN / OUTER SPACE
SOURCE: UNTV
TRT: 2.28
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/ NATS

DATELINE: 14 OCTOBER 2010, NEW YORK CITY/ FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – RECENT, NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior UN building

14 OCTOBER 2010, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, dais
3. Med shot, reporter
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Mazlan Othman, Director of the Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA):
“First, I’ll have to categorically deny that I was appointed, or will be appointed the Ambassador for Aliens, the Ambassador for the United Nations for Aliens. No, the Committee is not discussing this very, this subject matter. But, yes, I was in the UK to attend a meeting, which I can quote to you, called Towards a Scientific and Societal Agenda on Extraterrestrial Life.”
5. Close up, photographer
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Mazlan Othman, Director of the Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA):
“The United Nations is a ready made platform for any kind of discussions that affect humanity as a whole. And if it comes to extraterrestrial life - so, we have not talked about extraterrestrial intelligence only, but life as well – the United Nations is one, is logically one of the many mechanisms and avenues for such discussions.”
7. Wide shot, reporters
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Mazlan Othman, Director of the Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA):
“What I would like to see done is that such an important issue, if we discover life in outer space, that there be a meeting of minds. I don’t know which minds it would be, whether they are scientific or political, that involves the entire spectrum of humanity, not just one or two states that found life or discovered life, but because it would have a profound impact on humanity, that it’d be in some way discussed in a more, across, I would say, in a forum that is more representative of everyone.”
9. Med shot, reporter
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Mazlan Othman, Director of the Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA):
“If you then look at the statistics and see that if even one in a trillion of the one in a trillion stars might host life. And when I mean life, it’s not people like you and I, but it could just be bacteria. When we are talking about life, in this meeting, we are not talking about green aliens, ok? Sometimes this is the connotation of when we say extraterrestrial life it always must be green aliens with large, lovely eyes, but no we are talking about bacteria, because they are the most likely form of life.”
11. Wide shot, dais

STORYLINE:

The Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), Mazlan Othman, today (14 October) “categorically” denied being appointed as “the Ambassador for the United Nations for Aliens,” while at the same time acknowledging the statistical possibility of the existence of extraterrestrial life.

Othman, a Malaysian astrophysicist who is also the Deputy Director-General UN Office at Vienna (UNOV), was the centre of a recent controversy after an article in the British press suggested that she had been appointed for such a post after her participation at a Royal Society panel called “Towards a Scientific and Societal Agenda on Extraterrestrial Life.”

The UN official told reporters in New York that the UN would “logically” be the natural platform for any discussions on extraterrestrial life.

In that context, she said that “if we discover life in outer space” there should be a “meeting of minds” that involves “the entire spectrum of humanity, not just one or two states that found life or discovered life.”

Othman pointed out that given the recent discovery of extra-solar planets there is a distinct statistical possibility that “even one in a trillion of the one in a trillion stars might host life.”

She clarified that she was not referring to “green aliens with large, lovely eyes,” but most probably bacteria, “because they are the most likely form of life.”

UNOOSA is the UN office responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. It serves as the secretariat for the General Assembly's only committee dealing exclusively with international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.
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