The concept of the Minimum Common Programme has evolved taking into account urgent socio-economic and environmental issues in the ESCAP region, such as environmentally sound sustainable development, poverty alleviation, food security and human resources development. On the other hand, the Programme has also taken into consideration the emerging trends in space technology and its applications, the issue of the increasing "digital divide" and gaps in harnessing the benefits of space technology applications, along with contemporary technology and organizational issues, in order to enhance the operational use of space applications more equitably. Also considered are the ability and willingness of donors and participating organizations to apply the relevant space technology tools to the development objectives. Figure I illustrates this.
Figure I. Agenda of RESAP II - to strengthen the goals of ESCAP
The goals of the Minimum Common Programme are reflected in the Delhi Declaration, which launched RESAP II. The Declaration stressed the urgent need to examine and institutionalize regional cooperative mechanisms appropriate for accelerating collaboration in the field of space technology in order to achieve a more equitable benefit for the countries of the region and thereby improve the quality of life of the people. The conceptual framework for the Programme is illustrated in figure II.
Figure II. The Minimum Common Programme framework
The Minimum Common Programme constitutes the core element of RESAP II, and centres on the minimum essential requirements identified by the Second Ministerial Conference. Following the experience gained from the implementation of the first phase of RESAP, the Minimum Common Programme follows a more focused and streamlined approach to the implementation of projects and activities under a cohesive framework. This means that it is designed to contain a minimum number of prioritized areas of space technology applications and yet be able to cover a greater number of countries and address issues and problems that cut across national and subregional boundaries, thereby creating outputs having national, subregional and regional impact.