No this is not a a joke. The Telegraph reports:
A space ambassador could be appointed by the United Nations to act as the first point of contact for aliens trying to communicate with Earth.
Good to see they are focused on the vital issues.
Mazlan Othman, a Malaysian astrophysicist, is set to be tasked with co-ordinating humanity’s response if and when extraterrestrials make contact.
Mrs Othman is currently head of the UN’s little known Office for Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa).
The 58-year-old is expected to tell delegates that the proposal has been prompted by the recent discovery of hundreds of planets orbiting other starts, which is thought to make the discovery of extraterrestrial life more probable than ever before.
Aliens who landed on earth and asked: “Take me to your leader” would be directed to Mrs Othman. …
She will set out the details of her proposed new role at a Royal Society conference in Buckinghamshire next week.
Well, there’s one cost saving I can identify. I wonder how many staff it has grown to over the years.