Committee on the Peaceful Unedited transcript

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Mr. C. A. ARÉVALO YEPES (Colombia) (interpretation from Spanish): Indeed, I think the whole methodology that you have promoted to at the end of our meeting discuss the exchange of views is a very healthy exercise and it is important to look at issues which might be more relevant if we do this exercise of a true exchange of views. And with regard to the specific issue you just raised, indeed, this morning I did mention the need for developing a mechanism to institutionalize the Space Conferences of the Americas. And I further mentioned that, as the Pro Tempore Secretariat, we in Colombia had received some comments and suggestions with regard to the management of this and one of the ideas was that the venue for the next Conference might be in a more developed nation or more space-faring nation and one of the colleagues had even put forth the idea of proposing Canada as one option for a venue. Of course, I abuse the situation just a bit in suggesting this but I think that in the preparing of the Fourth Space Conference, Canada played a very important role. They were very present in Cartagena and they were very involved in the design itself, the design stage. We had a feeling, an impression, very informally, of course, that at the end, if this yields concrete results, Canada would be welcome as a venue, at least as far as we are concerned, but, of course, they would need to respond. In the meantime, the Pro Tempore Secretariat needs to find a mechanism for putting all this in place. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Spanish): Thank you. You never abuse but rather magnificently use the microphone.
I now give the floor to the distinguished representative of Canada who had asked for it I believe. Yes?
Ms. M. LAROCQUE (Canada): Thank you Mr. Chairman. Yes, I would like to thank the distinguished delegate of Colombia for the suggestion of hosting it in Canada. I am not in a position today to pronounce myself on that topic but it is something that is under review within the Canadian Government so hopefully maybe by February of next year, we might have an indication but it is too early at this point to officially announce this. Thank you.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Spanish): Thank you to the distinguished representative of Canada who furthermore speaks Spanish very well so she could even make contributions in my language.
Other issues that we touched upon which I judge as very important is the transcendental mistake being made by some delegations with regard to UNISPACE. It was not a rhetorical conference. It was not a conference just to speak of things that the ignorant, and let me speak clearly here, I apologize, the ignorant view as esoteric. The Action Teams are geared to solving practical problems, concrete problems for our various countries and societies which have some very important needs. Now I do not know if anybody wishes to reflect or comment on the issue of the Action Teams. I, for my part, would like to say that most delegations in the context of, I think, a very successful conference, UNISPACE III, most delegations referred to the fact that this conference took place almost for the first time in such a way as to involve a commitment of the international community. That commitment is to adapt or bring technology to meet the needs of those countries that most need it. So I think that is a very important issue to underscore with regard to the Action Teams as well.
I would also like to refer to a proposal that I put on the table this morning, as the Chair. I do not think we can continue in a situation which is a sort of a parallel situation where, on the one hand we discuss a pre-established agenda in a sort of pre-established way according to the General Assembly’s resolutions and then within some Committees or Subcommittees, you have a persistence of representatives of the different space agencies. I think it is good to think that the representatives of the space agencies, at least once a year, might meet in a parallel way or have some sessions in parallel to what we are doing here. I am not sure what the format should be but basically there should be some sort of roundtable or working group to provide an opportunity for all of these agencies to come together and this would then provide input to the political and diplomatic discussions which take place in our meetings. And, furthermore, it would give us input to provide concrete content to our own agenda and this is a proposal that I would ask all of you to comment on as constructively as possible, if you would. And in that way, I would also like to provide a means of participation for those countries, I think, for example, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Syria and I am now just trying to recall statements, or Japan with its restructuring of its Space Agency which now has a new name. There are many countries who have been articulating and structuring a bureaucracy in the good sense of the word that makes it possible to channel international cooperation. But if these agencies are working within the context of each country and remains only as an item in a statement, a national statement, then it sort of comes to a dead end and we have much less of an impact in what we are doing and this is why I have put forth this proposal from the Chair.
I do not know if at this stage of the game, we have about 10 or 15 minutes left, if any delegation would like to comment on that proposal.
The distinguished observer for the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. You have the floor.
Mr. J. C. TRINDER (International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing): Mr. Chairman, I would just like to point out that there is a committee of space agencies now. It is called the Committee of Earth Observation Satellites, CEOS, which coordinates the activities between the space agencies and perhaps there should be an opportunity for COPUOS to cooperate or communicate with CEOS on the issues that you are referring to.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Spanish): Thank you very much for your contribution. I think it should be represented. I am not in any doubt about that. But I think that that is a body which is basically geared to remote sensing observation of the Earth. But here what I am referring to is the multi-faceted nature of the very many space agencies or agencies working in this sphere. This is a sort of very general proposal that we need to refine and actually think more specifically of what are the different bodies and entities that might want to participate and do act in this sphere of action and knowledge. Undoubtedly, that is one of them. And I would like to thank you for recalling it to me but I think it only covers one aspect of what we want to look at as a whole, for example, the European Space Agency or CNES in France, NASA. In the developing countries, CONAE in Argentina, the Chilean Commission of Space in Chile. In Ecuador I think they are creating or have an Agency for Space Affairs, or Colombia, Syria. A number of countries have agencies which are active in this area. And as I have rather, in a very disorganized manner, observed and made remarks with regard to the different issues put on the table so far, I would also now like to urge the countries from Western Europe, I would like to ask these countries to communicate as soon as possible who their candidate would be for the Legal Subcommittee. We cannot wait until the end of the meeting to regularize a situation which, in our judgement, is vital. And here I am referring to the 2004-2006 session, the candidate for that session. So I would ask then would any delegation like to take the floor on this matter? Any light at the end of tunnel? Any indications what might happen? Any indication from a developed country? Nothing.
Yes, the distinguished representative of Germany. In fact, I welcome you with joy. I await with abated breath to hear his statement. You have the floor Sir.
Mr. K.-U. MUELLER (Germany): Mr. Chairman, the discussions in the Western European and Others Group are still ongoing.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Spanish): Are they continuing constructively? Thank you.
Moreover, I think it was very important and extremely imaginative the statement on behalf of Austria made by Ambassador Lichem. Imaginative in that he touched upon one of the key problems, crucial issues which need to be grappled with by the international community and which is ideological almost in nature and which goes beyond that as well which is the issue of water what they call the blue revolution. We have already had the green revolution with a lot of controversy around it with regard to the environment but if we do not have the blue revolution soon, it seems like a large part of the planet will not have drinking water or will not have access, not even have access to potable water. And I think that planet Earth is some 70 per cent water, is that right? I am lawyer so I do not know about these figures but generally speaking, you get the picture and I think that this is a very key issue that we must look at in this Committee, not as a rhetorical matter, but a very practical matter. I think we should pay very careful attention to what Ambassador Lichem said in this regard.
I would also like to refer to the statement made by the distinguished representative of the Republic of China on the very important space agency in China they put together with a number of the other Asian-Pacific countries working with the People’s Republic of China. And much like the South American region, they have been working together which is truly a commendable work in the area of regional cooperation which is important scientifically, technically and politically for a number of countries. Very often countries are forced to resort to one source or one supply for science and technology and here I am referring to the exact words of the Ambassador of Colombia in referring to space and science technology.
So here we should commend also not only the bureaucratic effort but the general restructuring effort of Japan of their internal legislation to create a more sound and more robust legislative framework so that now they will have a space agency, if I understood correctly through the interpretation, will be looking at space and aerospace issues. Is that correct? I do not know if the Japanese delegate is in agreement with the way I have re-phrased your statement. But in any case, all of these delegates have given us food for thought, a series of ideas that we should be examining and implementing. For example, if we look at the progressive development of international space law, some believe that current space law is sufficient. That is not something that we ask during the Legal Subcommittee meetings so we reach, having discussed the conclusion that not only are they insufficient, but for some countries they are truly insufficient and do not meet the needs of said developing countries. So again, this is a pending issue for all of us.
Honestly I must say that in trying to stimulate you, not force you, but simply remind you that this is called an exchange of views and everyday I am proposing to stop the normal meeting, 10 to 15 minutes before the end of the session, so that working all together with you in as democratic a manner as possible, we can work together, that is you, the Chair and the Secretariat to establish the foundation of a report which will reflect all of our points of view which will be based on consensus as much as possible but which will also reflect the essential elements of the main thrust of space. We have a number of issues on the table, space and society, UNIDROIT, UNISPACE III recommendations. In short, we have heard a number of very interesting ideas articulated with regard to these subjects and I would hope to have, on your part, greater participation and more orientation to help the Chair guide the discussions. We need to know what your desires are. How do you want to see this Committee moving in the future? Diplomatically speaking, politically speaking or scientifically speaking? We have a cross-section here of issues where we can identify a common ground with regard to the use or appropriate use of space technology and applications.
I think the time has come to end the session. I am sorry that there were not more requests for the floor, there was not more participation with regard to what we have heard thus far but in any case we will be continuing tomorrow.
Before ending, I would like to announce tomorrow morning’s work plan. Tomorrow morning, we will continue with item 5, General Exchange of Views, and we will begin item 6, Ways and Means of Maintaining Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes.
I would like to remind delegates that I intend to conclude this item and move on to item 7 as well, UNISPACE III.
At the end of tomorrow’s morning session, there will be two special presentations under agenda item 7, Mr. Angelo Iasiello of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics of the United States will make a presentation on “The Role and Benefits of Professional Societies in Creating and Supporting Local Aerospace Capabilities”. We will also hear from Mr. Alonso Lefno of Chile who is the Executive Director of FIDAE, the International Expo on Air and Space, who will make a presentation on FIDAE 2004 and Space.
Are there any comments or questions with regard to the proposed schedule?
I see none. So this meeting is adjourned until 10.00 a.m. tomorrow morning.
The meeting closed at 5.55 p.m.

In its resolution 50/27 of 6 December 1995, the General Assembly endorsed the recommendation of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space that, beginning with its thirty-ninth session, the Committee would be provided with unedited transcripts in lieu of verbatim records. This record contains the texts of speeches delivered in English and interpretations of speeches delivered in the other languages as transcribed from taped recordings. The transcripts have not been edited or revised.
Corrections should be submitted to original speeches only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned, within one week of the date of publication, to the Chief, Translation and Editorial Service, Room D0708, United Nations Office at Vienna, P.O. Box 500, A-1400, Vienna, Austria. Corrections will be issued in a consolidated corrigendum.


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