Committee on the Peaceful Unedited transcript



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The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Spanish): Thank you to the distinguished representative of the United States.
I now give the floor to the distinguished representative of Hungary.
Mr. E. BOTH (Hungary): Thank you Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, first of all, I would like to congratulate you on your re-election for the chairmanship of this Committee. My delegation also expresses its best wishes to Dr. Sergio Camacho, the newly appointed Director of OOSA.
Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates, let me now briefly inform the Committee on two important features of our country’s space programme.
First of all, I am pleased to inform this Committee about a new milestone in our international cooperation. I would like to announce that after a thorough series of negotiations, the representatives of the European Space Agency and the Hungarian Government in April signed an agreement on our country’s accessing to ESA’s programme for European Cooperating States. We are proud that Hungary became the first European Cooperating State of the European Space Agency. As my delegation several times emphasized, the international cooperation is of vital importance for our country. As a follow-up of a workshop held in Budapest four years ago, the European Space Agency has elaborated some new ideas, the so-called ECS programme, for promoting the way of some candidate countries towards full membership. We highly appreciate all efforts by ESA to support our approach towards the Agency. We are convinced that this accession is a milestone for our country since the ESA/ECS programme will offer new opportunities for our space community, including our industry.
In our space programme, the space applications have the highest priority. One of the most rapidly developing space applications seems to be the use of the global navigation systems. Being aware of this, we welcomed the idea of the series of regional conferences on satellite navigation. The International Meeting of Experts, held last November in Vienna, was a proper closing of the series of regional conferences, where the participants succeeded to reach a world-wide consensus in formulating some important recommendations and other arguments. As one of the participants, I express my delegation’s thanks to the sponsors of the series of conferences, as well as to the organizers, within and outside OOSA. My delegation hopes that some of the recommendations of the GNSS conferences will find their ways through the relevant Action Team to this Committee and to the General Assembly and in the form of United Nations recommendations back to the governments. This process could effectively promote in different countries the quick spread of GNSS applications. Anyway, it is important to emphasize that the series of GNSS conferences has a very positive follow-up in our country, promoting the launch of a national GNSS application programme.
Thank you for your attention. Thank you Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Spanish): I apologize. We had a little problem here at the Bureaux but I have followed your statement attentively and I would like to once again thank the distinguished representative of Hungary who is a long-standing and important member of this Committee.
And I now give the floor to the distinguished representative of Ukraine.
Mr. V. CHERNYSH (Ukraine) (interpretation from Russian): Thank you Mr. Chairman. The Ukrainian delegation would like to join the words of gratitude and high appraisal of the work of the newly re-elected Bureaux of COPUOS as well as the leadership of the Office for Outer Space Affairs. We would like to join others who have wished every success to this important body in addressing the matters on the agenda. Most particularly, we would like to thank Ambassador Lichem, who has made it possible for us to accomplish very specific and positive results in terms of developing and agreeing upon the mechanisms for making up the Bureaux and its auxiliary bodies.
Mr. Chairman, Ukraine, as a member of the United Nations and a leading space-faring State, has always welcomed the efforts of the United Nations and of this Committee specifically towards promoting a global dialogue on the most important issues on the agenda of countries involved in outer space activities, and most importantly, broadening and intensifying international cooperation in the area of space science and technology and its applications. In this context, let me briefly inform the Committee of specific steps undertaken by Ukraine towards those objectives.
In the context of cooperating with international organizations, the executive bodies of the Ukrainian Government have approved amendments to the founding documents of INMARSAT, the International Mobile Satellite Organization and INTERSPUTNIK, the International Communications Satellite Organization. And these amendments have made our cooperation far more effective.
The National Space Agency of Ukraine shares the concern of the international community in view of the danger of space debris. We believe the issue of cleaning up near-Earth space from space debris is topical and urgent. The National Space Agency of Ukraine is aware that this is a problem that is global in nature. In February 2000, we joined the Inter-Agency Coordination Committee on Space Debris, IADC. The various launch vehicles being used or developed in the Ukraine have built-in measures to prevent contamination of near-Earth space by space debris or to mitigate it to the extent possible. At present, under the leadership of the National Space Agency of Ukraine, work is being done to amend and expand space activity rules and principles with a particular emphasis on preventing the contamination of outer space in accordance with the guidelines for mitigating space debris recently approved by IADC, the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee.
On 14 April of this year, Ukraine signed a second agreement with the European Meteorological Satellite Organization. It was the National Space Agency of Ukraine that signed that agreement and it has to do with the use of high-resolution data provided by METEOSAT satellites. Since July 2000, interested companies and organizations in Ukraine have made active use of high-resolution data obtained from these orbital satellites to tackle a number of tasks facing the national economy.
Within the framework of bilateral cooperation, throughout the years 2002-2003, and in the context of cooperation agreements, regular meetings, joint workshops, seminars, conferences and roundtable discussions, Ukraine has hosted official delegations, representatives of the various diplomatic missions accredited in Ukraine, aerospace companies and space agencies from the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Argentina, Brazil, Viet Nam, China, Egypt, Israel, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, Japan.
Cooperation with the Russian Federation in 2002-2003 has focused as a priority area on the experimental exploitation of the joint Ukrainian-Russian ocean project. This is an important ____________ (not clear) elements of the Sich system for remote observation of the Earth from space-based satellites providing high-resolution data which can be used to address a number of scientific research and applied tasks.
Furthermore, in February 2002, the space agencies of the two countries, Ukraine and the Russian Federation, adopted a long-term programme for joint scientific research and technological experiments on the basis of the Russian segment of the International Space Station.
Bilateral contacts with the People’s Republic of China have focused primarily on coordinating a programme for cooperation between the PRC and Ukraine in the area of the peaceful uses of outer space.
In 2002, important agreements were signed and international instruments approved on cooperation in outer space with Brazil, Turkey, Israel and Argentina. All of these international instruments broaden the legal framework for Ukraine’s cooperation with the above listed countries and facilitate the implementation of a number of major commercial projects in outer space.
I would like to note in particular the agreement with Brazil. It is an inter-governmental agreement on the protection of technologies and a Memorandum on the joint use of the Alcantara space launch facility. These international instruments and agreements, along with the various drafts prepared by the Ukrainian Space Agency for follow-up agreements and related documents, combine to set up a legal framework for setting up joint ventures and the start of actual work on the use of the Alcantara space launch facility for launching the Cyclone-4M launch vehicle, which is highly promising.
In November 2002, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a third programme for 2003-2007 which includes a number of fundamentally new provisions related to a new stage in the development of human society, and here I am referring to … (not clear) … of sustainable development, and also relating to the transformation of the Ukrainian economy and the vital need for the further commercialization of outer space activities and for creating an adequate potential for the national space industry. This new programme defines strategic guidelines for Ukraine’s space activities and the ways of practically implementing those guidelines. The programme has been drafted on the basis of the long-term priorities facing Ukraine and its development, taking into account world-wide trends in the use of outer space for peaceful purposes.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, let me reaffirm Ukraine’s readiness to make a contribution to the joint effort of COPUOS member States in tackling topical tasks confronting us today. This work is designed to strengthen international cooperation in the outer space area as an important factor for promoting global stability and security. Thank you Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Spanish): Thank you very much for your statement distinguished representative of Ukraine.
The representative of Ecuador has the floor.
Mr. F. CHÁVEZ (Ecuador) (interpretation from Spanish): Thank you Mr. Chairman. First of all, let me tell you that it is a pleasure to see you again at the head of this Committee and I congratulate you on the extension of your mandate. Your experience guarantees the success of this meeting and of its subsidiary bodies. I would also like to congratulate the other members of the Bureaux for the extension of their function until the next session of the Committee. In keeping with the agreement achieved, thanks to the efforts of the Government of Austria in the person of Ambassador Walther Lichem. Dr. Sergio Camacho is participating for the first time in this session of the Committee as Director of the Office for Outer Space Affairs and thus we welcome him and we congratulate him on his work thus far along with his colleagues.
The Ambassador of Cuba has communicated GRULAC’s position with regard to other items on our agenda and we would like, once again, join in the statement made by the Chair of our regional group.
Mr. Chairman, the agenda of our work reflects the rich diversity of the work of COPUOS and the positive balance of management of the Subcommittees, that is both the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee, which are so skilfully chaired by Mr. Karl Doetsch of Canada and Mr. Vladimir Kopal of the Czech Republic respectively.
In the context of the sphere of action of COPUOS, my delegation is pleased to note the headway made with a view to application of the recommendations of UNISPACE III which promote international cooperation and human development. It is also encouraging to note the evolution of a number of subjects of discussion, such as satellite remote sensing, which is, no doubt, very important for sustainable development and the establishment of a comprehensive space system which is of special interest to countries such as mine for natural disaster management and for managing phenomena which are cyclical, such as El Niño, which affects my country and many others which are located in areas which are also in high-risk seismic zones.
The evolution of other subjects has been slower but nonetheless significant. Thus is the case of the geostationary orbit which we shall recall here then the Declaration adopted by the Committee in its forty-fourth session and the Agreement achieved in the thirty-ninth session of the Legal Subcommittee. Both the Declaration and the Agreement are encouraging steps towards seeking new areas of consensus matching the characteristics sui generis of the geostationary orbit and which guarantee to all States equitable access to this natural resource which is limited and which to take into special account the needs of developing nations and the geographic situation of determined countries.
In order to accomplish these goals, the United Nations Space Technology Applications Programme constitutes a very worthwhile tool. Ecuador appreciates the high degree of participation of its candidates in the various courses and hopes to extend the benefits of the Programme to other activities which contribute to the development of the country.
In its fortieth session, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee reiterated its concern for the lack of financial resources in order to implement the United Nations Technology Applications Programme and thus my country makes a special appeal to the donor community to either make voluntary contributions or to increase them to strengthen this Programme.
We are pleased that the Programme can support the application of the Action Plan of the Fourth Space Conference of the Americas, in keeping with the Memorandum of Understanding, signed by the Pro Tempore Secretariat of the Fourth Conference of the Americas, held by Colombia, and very dynamically so, I might add, and the Office for Outer Space Affairs.
The signing of this instrument is an event which we applaud, much like the signing in these coming days of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Chilean Space Agency’s International Advisory Board and the Office for Outer Space Affairs.
My delegation would also like to highlight the launching next of the Simon Bolivar satellite which constitutes a joint effort of Member States of the Andean community and Brazil. This project has been underway for some time and its crystallization is a good example of regional cooperation for the use of space science and technology.
With regard to UNIDROIT, and with regard to the real international guarantees of mobile equipment assets and the preliminary draft Protocol on specific issues related to space assets, my delegation believes, as indicated by GRULAC, that the standards of international public law contained in the treaties and principles of the United Nations on outer space should prevail over the standards of private law contained in the Protocol.
With regard to designating an oversight authority, in keeping with the preliminary draft Protocol, we believe that it is important to very carefully evaluate this option and look at all the ramifications thereof.
Finally, my delegation would like to reiterate its endorsement of the initiative of reviewing the principles of remote sensing in the context of the Legal Subcommittee with a view to adapting the standards to technological progress in this area and recommendations of UNISPACE III.
We further support the proposal contained in the declaration of GRULAC on item 11, space and society, with a view to maintaining it on the agenda with a special focus towards international cooperation for the use of space technology for educational purposes. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Spanish): Thank you to the distinguished representative of Ecuador for his declaration.
This will be the last speaker on the list to speak on item 5, general exchange of views. And I will now give the floor to the International Society of Photogrammetry as an observer. We thus give the floor to the representative of this Organization. You have the floor Sir.
Mr. J. C. TRINDER (International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing): Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for the opportunity for the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, that is ISPRS, to participate in this forty-sixth session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. I thank especially the newly appointed Office for Outer Space Affairs Director, Dr. Camacho, and his staff of OOSA for their dedication to the activities of COPUOS. The ISPRS is very appreciative of the dedication and hard work performed by all OOSA staff over the past year.
Mr. Chairman, the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing is a non-governmental international organization devoted to the development of international cooperation for the advancement of the photogrammetric and remote sensing and spatial information sciences. The ISPRS membership continues to increase and now comprises 122 national organizations and professional societies representing 112 nations and regions covering the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Oceania, plus 49 sustaining members which represent corporations and research institutions. Established in 1910, ISPRS is the oldest umbrella international organization in its field which may be summarized as addressing information from imagery.
At this session I will report separately on the benefits to remote sensing and access to commercial remote sensing data during agenda item 7 on the implementation of recommendations of UNISPACE III. These are important issues related to the implementation of these recommendations.
Mr. Chairman, the year 2004 is the year of the Congress of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing to be held in Istanbul, Turkey from 12 to 23 July 2004. Members of COPUOS are invited to visit the ISPRS website which is www.isprs.org for more details of this Congress, submission of abstracts and registration, etc. This is a landmark event for the fields of photogrammetry, remote sensing and spatial information sciences. And the Second Announcement document is available to delegates here at this session.
Mr. Chairman and distinguished delegates, I appreciate the opportunity to share some views of ISPRS and to offer ISPRS activities as a contribution to the successful achievements of COPUOS and I will speak further on the issues identified earlier when the appropriate time arises.
Thank you for your attention.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Spanish): Thank you very much distinguished representative of this important international organization.
At this point we are going to suspend speeches on agenda item 5, general exchange of views, because, as I mentioned earlier, I would like to envisage in every session some time for a true exchange of comments after statements have been made. And I think this is a good practice to institute. Statements and speeches are one thing but after they have been delivered, I think it would be a good thing to re-establish a true dialogue and this would then be reciprocally nourishing to countries, both for developed countries on the one side and developing on the other, and all countries amongst themselves.
So I am wondering if, in light of these comments, given that this is really an exchange of views, not general debate, in light of what has been said today, if any delegation would like to take the floor at this time, otherwise the Chair does have some ideas to put on the table but I would like to open the floor first.
I would ask you not to be shy because truly we would have great pleasure in hearing what you have to say.
With great satisfaction, I welcome the distinguished representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran who always makes very constructive remarks. You have the floor.
Mr. M. REZVANIAN RAHAGHI (Islamic Republic of Iran): Thank you very much Mr. Chairman. Since this morning, particularly my delegation has been in a position to learn very much from other colleagues in the room and we hope it could be continued during the remaining days and particularly during the next week and certainly this meeting is a good opportunity for all of us to learn from each other through information sharing and exchange of views.
But there is one point. It was somehow our concern when we were discussing the final report of the meeting in the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee in February and it was the issue of security. Certainly the main purpose of discussion and the main objective is the peaceful uses of outer space and I am sure that nobody in this room has any doubt about this issue. At the end of the line, we hope to achieve sustainable development and welfare for any society and for the whole international community. But when we talk about security and security aspects of space activities and remote sensing, it reminds us of some negative aspects of space activities which could endanger the whole process of negotiations, particularly in COPUOS which, as I said, the most important objective is peaceful exploration and use of outer space to achieve sustainable development, particularly for developing countries. That is why my delegation would like to draw the attention of all colleagues in the room that when we want to refer to this issue, answered out a broad term, we use some narrow terms and more restrictive, to make it clear that what we have in our mind. Does it mean food security or we are looking for environment protection, particularly with respect to the three pillars of sustainable development, which is economic growth, social development and environmental protection.
This is the main issue that I wanted just to raise with you and other colleagues in the room. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Spanish): I thank the distinguished representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I think he has made an important point. The Chair would simply like to make reference to one issue that I think is central here and that is the UNDP Report on Human Security, focused on the individual to the end that an individual should be free of need and fear. And so in that context, in the UNDP Report of 2001, which talks about the synergy. I am asking because there are linguistic experts here. For Spanish, I would say synergy in Spanish and English as well, that way we have no problems. A synergy between the link that should exist between the most appropriate techniques to ensure the safety of people and that is sort of the context in which this concept has been developing, by looking at different international instruments to promote that. But it is you who should be discussing this and I am very pleased to see that your delegation brought that to the table as one of the subjects that has been raised.
Now, within the context of the Chair’s comments, I would add the idea of sustainable human security. We need a synergy, not just for present generations, but also for future generations.
I thank you for your contribution and I would now like to ask if any other delegation wishes to take the floor at this time to make comments on the general exchange of views which has taken place to date.
As I see none, I would now like to turn to some matters that I think are quite important with regard, for example, to what the distinguished Ambassador of Colombia said on the Fourth Space Conference of the Americas. I was quite pleased to participate in that beautiful city, Cartagena de Indias. The temperature is just a little bit high but anyway it is still very worthwhile to go there. It was a very significant conference because significant decisions were taken.
One of these decisions was with regard to regional cooperation and the mechanism for that. And the other was referred to in the GRULAC statement made by the distinguished Ambassador of Cuba with regard to the need to institutionalize the Space Conference of the Americas. And if I recall correctly, the Ambassador of Colombia also said that there have been informal consultations with the delegation of Canada who might be willing to take on the Fifth Space Conference of the Americas. I do not know if the Canadian delegation wishes to react at this time or remain silent, like the Civil Code of Chile indicates silence as tacit acceptance.
Now the Head of my delegation is an expert jurist, that is for my delegation, I do not know the other delegations, but I understand that that how it works, and I give the floor to the distinguished Ambassador of Colombia and then Canada.

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