United Nations COPUOS/T.508
Committee on the Peaceful Unedited transcript
Uses of Outer Space
Friday, 13 June 2003, 3 p.m.
Chairman: Mr. González Aninat (Chile)
The meeting was called to order at 3.15 p.m. Number 4 on “Enhance Weather and Climate
Forecasting”. The main goal of this Action Team is to
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from address global challenges to enhance weather and
Spanish): Distinguished delegates, I now declare open climate forecasting through expanded international
the 508th meeting of the Committee on the Peaceful cooperation in the field of meteorological satellite
Uses of Outer Space. applications. To fulfil this goal, it is essential to have
active participation of all member States and
This afternoon, we shall continue organizations that manifested an interested to
consideration of agenda items 7 and 8. If there is time, participate in this work.
we will also start 9.
Last June, a workshop was organized here in
Following the plenary meeting of the Vienna with presentations from member States and
Committee, at around 5.00 p.m., the Working Group, International Organizations and programmes that was
chaired by Mr. Niklas Hedman of Sweden, will be very useful to discuss the objectives, benefits and
meeting. impediments of our mission and to plan our activities.
A report of the work done up to now was completed a
Implementation of the recommendations of the few weeks ago and was submitted to the Committee in
Third United Nations Conference on the document A/AC.105/L.247.
Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
(UNISPACE III) (agenda item 7) I would like to emphasize that, as regards
weather and climate forecasting using meteorological
Distinguished delegates, we can now start satellites, international cooperation between Member
with item 7. The first speaker on my list is the States and international organizations and programmes
distinguished representative of Portugal. You have the is very important. This cooperation depends, to a large
floor. extent, on human resources, particularly in developing
countries. Strengthening of capacity-building in the
Mr. F. D. SANTOS (Portugal): Thank you area of satellite applications for weather and climate is,
Mr. Chairman. On behalf of the Portuguese therefore, one of the main challenges that we face in
delegation, I would like to assure you of first of our the present and in the future. Capacity-building will be
commitment to the implementation of the one of the recommendations of our Action Team. In
recommendations of the UNISPACE III Conference. particular, it must be emphasized that continuous and
We believe that this mandate is one of the most reliable observing systems and networks both from
challenging and significant present objectives of this satellite and ground stations that produce validated data
Committee. are essential to monitor climate and to address the
increasingly pressing questions of climate change.
Portugal is co-chairing with the World
Meteorological Organization, the Action Team
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
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Mr. Chairman, I would like to take this Report of the Scientific and Technical
opportunity to draw the attention to a questionnaire on Subcommittee on its fortieth session (agenda item 8)
the issues that we are addressing in Action Team
Number 4. This questionnaire is for member States And now I would like to move on to the report
participating in the Action Team and the deadline to of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, agenda
answer it is 31 July. Thank you Mr. Chairman. item 8. And we can begin our consideration of this
item. To begin that, I would like to give the floor to
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Mr. Hans Haubold, Officer-in-Charge of the Space
Spanish): I thank the distinguished representative of Applications Section of the Office for Outer Space
Portugal for that statement. Affairs, who will be briefing the Committee on
activities of the Programme on Space Applications
The next speaker on my list is the You have the floor.
distinguished representative of Syria.
Mr. H. HAUBOLD (Officer-in-Charge,
Ms. D. RUQIYAH (Syrian Arab Republic) United Nations Programme on Space Applications,
(interpretation from Arabic): Mr. Chairman, we would Office for Outer Space Affairs): Thank you Mr.
like to mention that the delegation of Syria has Chairman. Mr. Chairman, thank you for giving me the
participated in all the 14 Action Teams related to the opportunity to address the Committee on the Peaceful
implementation of the Third UNISPACE and we have Uses of Outer Space on the activities of the United
jointly chaired with Iran and Tunisia a seminar on Nations Programme on Space Applications.
environment monitoring and we have submitted a
comprehensive survey and we have cited some I am pleased to see you once again as
examples, such as forest fires, volcanoes, drought, Chairman of this Committee. I am certain that under
mountains and the ozone layer. And we will submit your leadership, the important work before the
this finally both at the end of this year. Committee will be carried out efficiently and
successfully. Together with my colleagues in the
We are taking part in these activities out of Space Applications Section, I look forward to working
deep conviction of the benefits that would reflect on with you in the context of the United Nations
humanity as a whole. We wish to stress what has been Programme on Space Applications and the support that
mentioned by the Ambassador of Austria regarding it can provide for the implementation of the
freshwater and the importance of water resources in recommendations of UNISPACE III.
arid and semi-arid zones. And in Syria, we are more
than ready to undertake such studies and we have the With your permission, I would like to take this
proper sources of expertise, human element and the opportunity to express, on behalf of the Space
technical expertise. Applications Section, our greatest appreciation for the
three years that we had the privilege of working with
One of the peaceful uses of outer space is Dr. Sergio Camacho as Chief of the Section and Expert
monitoring the Earth through remote sensing and we on Space Applications. He truly did empower the staff
believe that such efforts would lower the costs and encouraged all to be innovative and creative.
especially the high-resolution imaging and this all Besides his professional capacity, Dr. Camacho has the
would increase the cost of such projects and this does gift of dealing well with people and turning so-called
not necessarily mean that we can lower the costs. And cross-cultural problems into cross-cultural benefits and
I believe that this Committee can, in a way, contribute I believe that all my colleagues agree that his pleasant
to the cost of such projects with the participation of the yet firm way of guiding the Programme created a very
United Nations. And that is why I would suggest that positive working atmosphere. While we miss him as
such a Commission entrusted with coordination could immediate part of the Section, we congratulate him for
be established within the Office for Outer Space. I his appointment as Director of the Office for Outer
thank you. Space Affairs and we look forward to working with
him in his new capacity.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from
Spanish): I thank the Syrian Arab Republic for that Mr. Chairman and distinguished delegates, in
statement. terms of work and change, this past year has again
been an intensive one for the Office for Outer Space
And with that, we have concluded, for this Affairs in general and for its Space Applications
afternoon, our examination of item 7. We will Section in particular. The achievements reached are
continue with our consideration of this item on very rewarding and the initiatives that we are pursuing
Monday morning. are exciting.
I would like to take a moment to express my in its report, which is document A/AC.105/804. With
appreciation to my colleagues in the Office for their this statement, we would like to inform the Committee
support in implementing the activities of the on some of the work carried out under the Programme
Programme in 2002 and preparing those for 2003 and on Space Applications to date and to refer to additional
2004. I would like to first thank the staff members in proposals for activities to be carried out in 2003 and
the Space Applications Section for their dedicated and 2004. In doing this, I will group activities of the
effective work in 2002 and 2003, particularly in Programme under the respective priority thematic
picking up the extra workload that resulted from the areas.
vacancies in the Section. The expression of my
appreciation would not be complete if I did not Mr. Chairman and distinguished delegates, the
recognize the valuable support provided by the priority thematic areas pursued by the Programme on
colleagues in the Committee Services and Research Space Applications emerged from the consultations
Section as well as by the Director, Dr. Sergio conducted by the Office with member States and their
Camacho, and his office to the activities of the institutions, space agencies, as well as with inter-
Programme in 2002 and 2003. governmental and non-governmental organizations,
including bodies and specialized agencies of the United
I am very pleased to inform the Committee Nations system. These priority thematic areas are
that since May of 2003, Ms. Raechelle Newman- being tuned in view of the survey that was conducted at
Askins, a national of Australia, has joined the Space the request of the Scientific and Technical
Applications Section. Ms. Newman-Askins is Subcommittee and through which member States
currently completing a Master of Engineering. Her indicated their priorities among the recommendations
skills in economic evaluation, policy development and of UNISPACE III.
strategic planning are an asset to the Programme.
These priority thematic areas are: space
Mr. Chairman and distinguished delegates, the technology for disaster management; satellite
Space Applications Section has continued to work communications for e-health, e-learning and disaster
intensely in conducting and preparing the diverse range management; management of natural resources and
of activities to be carried out under the United Nations protection of the environment; education and research
Programme on Space Applications in 2003 as well as in basic space science; and, last but not least, space
on needed preparations for the activities in 2004. The law.
Section has also been working with all of our other
colleagues in the Office in supporting the follow-up to Overarching thematic areas on which the
the agreements reached at the fortieth session of the Programme is concentrating include: applications of
Scientific and Technical Subcommittee. I refer in global navigation satellite systems; space science and
particular to the mechanism to implement the technology education through the Regional Centres
recommendations of UNISPACE III contained in the affiliated to the United Nations; promoting the
Vienna Declaration of Space and Human participation of young people in space activities;
Development. applications of small satellites; and promoting the
participation of private industry in activities of the
The overall strategy of the Programme is to Programme.
concentrate on a few priority thematic areas focusing
on the needs of the developing nations and establishing Mr. Chairman, I now turn to Programme
objectives that can be reached in the near- and mid- activities briefly summarized under respective thematic
term through activities that produce tangible results. areas.
The final results will, to the extent feasible, be
presented to decision-makers and policy-makers in I commence with space technology for
order to build local support for operational use of space disaster management. In 2002, the Programme
technologies. In our statement to the Scientific and continued with the series of six United Nations
Technical Subcommittee this year, we provided a Workshops on the Use of Space Technology for
number of examples of such results. The status of the Disaster Management, with the second one being held
activities carried out under the Programme on Space in Ethiopia for Africa and the third one in Thailand for
Applications in 2002 and planned for 2003 can be Asia and the Pacific. The fourth regional Workshop on
found in the Report of the Expert on Space this topic was held from 19 to 23 May at Poiana
Applications to the fortieth session of the Scientific and Brasov, Romania, for European nations. I am pleased
Technical Subcommittee. This is document to report that the Workshop was very successful. We
A/AC.105/790. That report was supplemented by would like to express the gratitude of the Programme
proposals for 2004 that emanated from the to the Government of Romania, the Romanian Space
deliberations of the Subcommittee which are reflected Agency, the French Space Agency and the European
Space Agency for their financial and technical support. develop a contribution of the satellite communications
The fifth Workshop in this series will be held in Saudi sector in the region that could be used as input into the
Arabia for nations in Western Asia from 13 to 16 process of WSIS preparation.
December 2003. Also in 2003, the first expert meeting
was convened at Pretoria, South Africa, to discuss In this connection, and with regard to an
potential viable pilot projects building upon the plan of ongoing series of activities of the Programme on
action developed at these regional workshops, disaster communications, improving the use of
particularly for the benefit of African nations. The COSPAS-SARSAT Satellite Search and Rescue
sixth and final Workshop is planned to be organized in System, was the key topic of the United Nations/India
Germany in 2004. Also in 2004, the Iranian Remote Workshop in Bangalore, India, in 2002. That event
Sensing Centre, on behalf of the Government of the also marked the twentieth anniversary of COSPAS-
Islamic Republic of Iran, will host a United Nations SARSAT, a system which, over the period of 20 years,
Workshop on the Applications of Space Science and has helped save over 14,000 lives worldwide. This
Technology for Disaster Management Focusing on Workshop was hosted and co-sponsored by the Indian
Sustainable Development and Environmental Space Research Organization. This series of activities
Protection. will be continued in 2003 by the Workshop to be held
in Miami, Florida, United States of America, from 17
The Programme has been focusing on to 21 November. The prime objective of this
integrating the work being carried out by the Office in Workshop is to promote an awareness of satellite-aided
the area of space technology for disaster management search and rescue programmes and to establish a
with the work of other United Nations specialized formal interface with the user countries in the region of
agencies and regional commissions, national and Latin America and the Caribbean.
regional institutions and other relevant initiatives such
as the International Charter “Space and Major I turn now to the priority thematic area of
Disasters”. The International Charter of Space and management of natural resources and monitoring and
Major Disasters was initiated by the European Space protection of the environment. In cooperation with the
Agency and the French Centre Nationale d’Études Government of Sweden, the Programme has organized
Spatiales, other partners include the Canadian Space an international training course for 13 years on remote
Agency, the Indian Space Research Organization, and sensing education for university educators from
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration developing nations. The thirteenth course began on 5
of the United States of America. The Charter aims to May 2003 and will conclude today. The Fourteenth
provide a unified system of space data acquisition and United Nations/Sweden International Training Course
delivery of value-added products free-of-charge, on Remote Sensing Education for Educators will be
through authorized users, to those affected by major held in Stockholm and Kiruna, Sweden, in May and
disasters. In 2003, the Office for Outer Space Affairs June 2004.
will become a Cooperating Body to the Charter which
will enable the United Nations system to have access to I would like to express the appreciation of the
the satellite images provided under the Charter in United Nations to the Government of Sweden and its
response to an emergency. institutions for this sustained effort and for providing
the bulk of the funding and academic expertise for the
I continue with the priority thematic area of course.
satellite communications for e-health, e-learning and
disaster management. In 2003, the United Nations will All training courses of this type enabled a
organize the World Summit on the Information Society large number of participants from developing nations,
with the International Telecommunications Union approximately 350 individuals, to introduce the use of
taking the lead in its preparation, along with interested remote sensing as a tool in universities in their home
United Nations organizations. The Summit will countries. The results of an evaluation survey carried
address the broad range of questions concerning the out by the Office and Stockholm University in 2001
Information Society and move towards a common showed that the major obstacle diminishing the
vision and understanding of this societal potential of the former participants to apply the
transformation. knowledge received in Sweden was a lack of satellite
images and data, computer hardware and software
The Programme has scheduled a Workshop on training and reference materials which were necessary
the Contribution of Satellite Communications for successful and effective teaching and application of
Technology to Bridging the Digital Divide for the remote sensing in their respective universities. In
benefit of the developing nations in the Asia-Pacific addition, the survey clearly demonstrated a strong need
Region, to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 1 to 5 in supplementary training in advanced disciplines, like
September 2003. The objective of the Workshop is to digital data processing, GIS, GPS and use of high-
resolution data, as well as in periodic training for This Workshop will finalize an evaluation of the whole
former participants in order to keep them abreast with series of workshops in terms of implemented follow-up
the latest developments of the technology. Currently, it projects, including the establishment and operation of
is ongoing, the Office carries out consultations with the astronomical telescope facilities, development of
Swedish International Development Agency, Sida, and teaching material and observing programmes, the
Stockholm University on organizing a joint establishment of a worldwide network of basic space
UN/Sida/Stockholm University follow-up evaluation scientists, and the various measurable impacts these
exercise which will consist of fact-finding missions to workshops had with respect to the development of
the regions of Asia and the Pacific and Latin America basic space science in the developing nations.
and the Caribbean in 2004, followed up by the regional
workshops in 2004 and 2005. The primary goals of I will very briefly summarize two overarching
this follow-up evaluation are to evaluate a local impact priority thematic areas where the Programme is very
of the series of the training courses, to find the major active.
reasons for high or low rate of success in implementing
the knowledge received in Sweden and to identify the The first one is applications of Global
nature and scope of possible support to ensure that Navigation Satellite Systems. Five United
ongoing efforts of the Programme have established Nations/United States of America Regional Workshops
firm roots within the educational communities in and one International Meeting of Experts on the Use of
developing nations. Global Navigation Satellite Systems, were held in 2001
in Malaysia and Austria, in 2002 in Chile and Zambia,
Under this priority thematic area, the United and again in 2002 in Austria, respectively. The
Nations/European Space Agency Workshop on Remote activities served to increase the awareness of
Sensing Applications and Education will be hosted by developing nations of the contributions that GNSS can
the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and held make to the protection of the environment and to
at the General Organization of Remote Sensing, sustainable development. This series of activities
GORS, Damascus, Syria, from 29 June to 3 July 2003. reached already worldwide consensus in a number of
This Workshop will further the support for application recommendations that serve as input for an
of and education in space science and technology in the international workshop on the same topic that the
region of Western Asia. Also in 2003, the Programme Programme will organize in 2003 that will define
is organizing the UN/IAF Workshop with focus on follow-up actions to be implemented in the near-term.
space and education during the next International This Workshop will continue to spread GNSS
Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany. For this applications and the launch of national GNSS
Workshop, we receive full support of the Government application programmes.
of Germany. In 2004, the United Nations/SUPARCO
Seminar on Monitoring and Protection of the Natural The second overarching thematic area is space
Environment will be hosted by the Government of science and technology education. To date, at different
Pakistan to continue activities of the Programme in this stages of development, Regional Centres for Space
area. Also in 2004, a Workshop on Remote Sensing in Science and Technology Education are operating in
the Service of Sustainable Development in Mountain Africa, located in Morocco and Nigeria, in Asia and
Areas will be held at the International Centre for the Pacific, located in India, and in Latin America and
Integrated Mountain Development, ICIMOD, in Caribbean, located in Brazil and Mexico. All Regional
Kathmandu, Nepal, co-sponsored by Switzerland, Centres are implementing the recently updated and
Austria and the European Space Agency. revised education curricula that are before you,
distinguished delegates, as United Nations documents
Mr. Chairman, now I refer to the priority area ST/SPACE/15, 16, 17, 18), in the four fields of space
of education and research in basic space science. The science and technology. The Programme continues to
Programme, in cooperation with the European Space undertake utmost efforts in support of the operation of
Agency and 10 other international agencies, has the Regional Centres. The Programme is developing a
organized annually workshops on basic space science promotional campaign in order to solicit necessary
since 1991, in chronological order hosted by India, financial, technical and instructional utilities to support
Costa Rica, Colombia, Nigeria, Egypt, Sri Lanka, the successful and sustainable operation of the
Germany, Honduras, Jordan, France, Mauritius, and Regional Centres.
last year in Argentina.
Distinguished delegates, some of the activities
The twelfth UN/ESA Workshop on Basic of the Programme are being organized in support of the
Space Science will be hosted by the China National objectives of United Nations global conferences. The
Space Administration on behalf of the Government of United Nations/South Africa/European Space Agency
the People’s Republic of China, in Beijing, in 2004. Workshop on the Use of Space Technology in
Sustainable Development, held in August 2002 at UNISPACE III was a turning point for the
Stellenbosch, South Africa, demonstrated that a wide Programme to play a crucial role in advancing the
range of space applications support objectives of objectives of the United Nations to promote peace and
sustainable development, in particular those that were security and to enhance human conditions through
addressed by Governments that participated in the space activities. UNISPACE III enabled the
World Summit on Sustainable Development. The Programme to step ahead by identifying common
Workshop was organized immediately before the objectives to be pursued and actions to be taken
Summit. As a follow-up to the Workshop, Austria has together in space activities, particularly in the
generously agreed to hosting three Symposia on the developing nations. In the coming months and years,
Use of Space in Support of the Plan of Implementation the Office and the Programme will continue to turn
of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, to those objectives and actions into practical plans so that
be held in Graz in the coming three years. The first the Office and the Programme can seize this
Symposium has been scheduled from 8 to 11 opportunity to be a focal point for bringing space
September 2003. The goal of the series of Symposia is benefits down to Earth.
to promote the use of demonstrated capabilities of
space technology to support some of the actions called We look forward to the deliberations of this
for in the Plan of Implementation of WSSD. In this Committee for guidance and further inputs. Thank you
regard, we also plan to actively contribute to the Mr. Chairman.
initiative of the Committee on Earth Observation
Satellites, CEOS, in the area of capacity-building in its The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from
follow-up programme to the outcomes of WSSD. Spanish): I thank Mr. Hans Haubold, Officer-in-
Charge of the Space Applications Section of the Office
Mr. Chairman and distinguished delegates, I for Outer Space Affairs. I believe that was very
am coming to the conclusions. illustrative, offering us a significant basis of productive
and very constructive efforts in that Section of the
Voluntary contributions continue to be crucial Office for Outer Space Affairs. And from the Chair, I
for many activities of the Office, as already would like to congratulate you for the work you are
emphasized in the statement of the Director of the doing.
Office for Outer Space Affairs. The regular budget
covers only about one third of the total cost of the Continuing with item 8 now, the next speaker,
activities of the Programme on Space Applications. the first speaker actually since that was a presentation
We would, therefore, like to take this opportunity to with the report, is the distinguished representative of
express our deepest appreciation, in particular to the the United States. You have the floor.
Governments of the United States of America, Austria,
France, the Czech Republic and Libya, as well as to the Mr. K. HODGKINS (United States of
European Space Agency, for their cash contributions to America): Thank you Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman,
the Trust Fund. We are also very grateful for the on behalf of my delegation, I would like to express our
contributions made by host countries that provided deep appreciation for the exceptional work done by Dr.
local facilities, transportation and accommodation for Karl Doetsch of Canada in his efforts to make
the activities of the Programme. These contributions substantial progress in the work and activities of the
made it possible for us to organize a large number of Scientific and Technical Subcommittee. Dr. Doetsch
activities. has done an outstanding job in keeping the
Subcommittee focused and in accomplishing a
Throughout this statement, we have indicated considerable amount over the past three years. In
that the Programme became stronger over the past addition, my delegation commends the extensive work
three years, since the conclusion of UNISPACE III, by: of the Office for Outer Space Affairs in support not
internally adjusting priorities of the Programme; only the Subcommittee meetings but also intersessional
further orienting several activities of the Programme to work and the UNISPACE III Action Teams.
support the same objective; creating synergy between
the work of the Action Teams and the activities carried My delegation has noted the positive
out within the framework of the Programme; working developments in the Scientific and Technical
with the regional commissions and specialized Subcommittee in addressing UNISPACE III
agencies of the United Nations systems, particularly recommendations. We believe the flexible approach
through the Inter-Agency Meeting on Outer Space that uses multi-year work plans, action teams and
Activities, and with the Regional Centres; and, last but reports by other groups are on their activities where
not least, including, incrementally, the participation of appropriate is proving to be an effective means of
private industry in its activities. implementing UNISPACE III recommendations and
permitting us to address a wide range of topics.
early as possible to ensure that we are all in a position
We fully endorse the report of the Scientific to make concrete progress at next February’s meeting.
and Technical Subcommittee. We would particularly
like to note the successful work of the Working Group We are pleased that consensus was reached on
on Nuclear Power Sources in space under the Direction new agenda items to be addressed next year concerning
of its Chairman, Sam Harbison of the United Kingdom. solar terrestrial physics and implementation of an
Delegations will recall that last year the Working integrated space-based global natural disaster
Group concluded its drafting of a report on key management system. In regards to the latter item, we
information on the differences between terrestrial and note that further work on this topic will be considered
space systems; potentially relevant international next year in conjunction with the final report of the
conventions, standards and other documents; launch UNISPACE III Action Team on Disaster Management.
approval processes; and potential future applications of
the technology. Based on that document, the United At the last session of the Subcommittee, we
States, Argentina, France, the Russian Federation and reviewed the use of space technology for the medical
the United Kingdom, submitted a work plan for sciences and public health. This proved to be a highly
developing an international technically-based informative discussion and led to a proposal by India
framework of goals and recommendations for the for a multi-year work plan on space systems-based
safety of nuclear power source applications in outer tele-medicine. We are pleased to join consensus in
space and this plan was adopted by the Subcommittee. adopting this proposal which has the potential for
The plan will be accomplished by pursuing focused yielding highly useful results. Beginning in 2004, the
topical studies and by establishing a flexible Subcommittee will examine the opportunities offered
partnership with the IAEA to take advantage of that by space systems for tele-medicine, the limitations in
Organization’s experience. Between now and the year terms of technical aspects, user acceptance, cost and
2006, the Working Group, in cooperation with the ways and means to enhance capacity for this
Office for Outer Space Affairs and the IAEA, will application in developing countries.
examine the range of issues associated with the safe
use of nuclear power sources in space with the view to I would like to note that my delegation
recommending an implementation option for welcomes the special presentations made before the
establishing nuclear power source technical safety Subcommittee on a wide variety of topics. We believe
standards. I understand that further progress towards that they serve to provide an increased technical
this goal was made during informal consultations held content for our deliberations and provide timely
just prior to our session this week. information that is useful in keeping delegations
informed about new programmes and developments in
Another priority topic for my delegation is the the space community, as well as illustrative examples
subject of space debris. We are pleased to note that the of the application of space technology. This ensures
Inter-Agency Debris Coordination Committee has that we maintain the momentum that we have gained
reached ad referendum consensus among its delegates since UNISPACE III and the Subcommittee has an
on proposed debris mitigation guidelines and that the opportunity to address a wide range of topics and retain
guidelines were presented to the Subcommittee. This the technical content of its work.
is a pivotal step in gaining a broader consensus on what
technical measures should be taken by space-faring My delegation wishes to draw attention to
nations to ensure the preservation of near-Earth space paragraphs 92 through 95 of the report of the Scientific
for future generations. We note that member States and Technical Subcommittee. We welcome the
had been requested to study the guidelines and provide recommendations of the United Nations Inter-Agency
possible comments to the Office for Outer Space Meeting on Outer Space Activities to hold an informal
Affairs before the next session of the Subcommittee. session to which representatives of member States
would be invited, that United Nations entities should
We share the view expressed yesterday in the be invited to submit annual reports to the Scientific and
intervention by the United Kingdom in that, on the Technical Subcommittee on specific themes, and that
basis of those comments, we believe a working group member States should be invited to submit information
should be formed to review the comments and consider on space-related initiatives and programmes that they
further progress on this subject, including continuing would carry out in response to specific actions
discussions on means of endorsing utilization of the recommended in the Plan of Implementation of WSSD.
Mr. Chairman, once again, the Committee will
We urge member States to give careful consider international cooperation in satellite-aided
consideration to the proposed guidelines and to provide search and rescue under the agenda item dealing with
any comments to the Office for Outer Space Affairs as the report of the Scientific and Technical
Subcommittee. We will hear about the latest UNIDROIT and its Space Working Group are planning
developments in the COSPAS-SARSAT programme, a a number of joint government/industry fora aimed at
cooperative venture among the United States, Canada, discussing the principle issues of the draft Space
France and Russia, initiated in the late 1970s. The Protocol. The meeting that was going to be held in
significance of this project cannot be understated, both Malaysia was planned for July 2003 but we hope to be
from a political as well as a practical standpoint. able to hold it before the end of the year, or at the latest
in 2004. Information will be given to Member States
Despite the intense rivalries of the Cold War, as soon as there is agreement on this final date. This
experts from these four countries worked tirelessly to joint forum will target the countries of Asia and the
achieve one goal, that is, using space technology to Pacific.
assist aviators and mariners in distress around the
world. Mr. Chairman, with regard to the issue on the
assumption by the United Nations of the functions of
Earlier, the Committee heard a presentation on Supervisory Authority under the Space Assets
the status of the programme. However, my delegation Protocol, our delegation feels that more detailed
would like to say a few more words about the success consideration should be given to the matter.
of this sterling example of international cooperation for
the benefit of the general public. This is necessary in view of the fact that the
Aircraft Protocol, which has ICAO as its Supervisory
Using the existing space platforms of Russia Authority, is facing several problems including lack of
and the United States and space-qualified hardware funding. Moreover, the United Nations, and thus
provided by France and Canada, the COSPAS- OOSA, is not a specialized agency created to carry out
SARSAT programme provides alert and position legislative and regulatory functions in a specific area of
location notifications for people in emergency activity. Indeed, as we know, no specialized agency
situations in remote areas. Since 1982, COSPAS- similar to ICAO has been established for outer space
SARSAT has defined the technical characteristics of affairs. Even if the issue of resources is resolved
emergency beacons to help ensure the use of one through an agreed mechanism of recovery of all costs
common standard worldwide. COSPAS-SARSAT has incurred, careful consideration should be paid to the
expanded the space segment to include instruments in fact that, as Supervisory Authority, the United Nations
geostationary orbits that now provide almost runs the risk of being liable for damages.
instantaneous alerting, and has expanded its
participation to 34 member nations on almost every Thus, our delegation would like to urge that
continent and in all regions of the world. These same the Committee and OOSA continue to study the
nations have helped develop and implement a robust practical experience of ICAO before taking a final
ground network and alert data distribution system. The decision concerning the role of the United Nations.
COSPAS-SARSAT system has assisted in the rescue We trust that other options, including the establishment
of over 15,000 persons since its initial operation in of a Supervisory Authority consisting of States Parties
1982. Thank you Mr. Chairman. to the Convention, are being actively pursued. Thank
you Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from
Spanish): I thank the distinguished representative of The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from
the United States for that statement. Spanish): I thank the distinguished representative of
Malaysia for that statement.
As I have no other speakers on my list, we can
continue our examination of item 8, Report of the The next speaker is the distinguished
Scientific and Technical Subcommittee on its Fortieth representative of the United States. You have the
Session, on Monday morning. floor.
Report of the Legal Subcommittee on its forty- Mr. K. HODGKINS (United States of
second session (agenda item 9) America): Thank you Mr. Chairman. I do not want to
give the impression that I am trying to monopolize our
I would like to take up item 9 now, Report of session this afternoon but this is a prime example of
the Legal Subcommittee. The first speaker on my list strategic planning because now I have nothing to do all
is the distinguished representative of Malaysia. You weekend except relax.
have the floor.
Mr. Chairman, my delegation has noted in
Ms. M. OTHMAN (Malaysia): Thank you previous interventions the positive developments in
Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates, revitalizing the agendas and methods of work of
COPUOS and its Subcommittees. One only has to turn common benefit within this framework. The language
to the last session of the Legal Subcommittee to see the of Articles 1 and 2 of the Outer Space Treaty, which is
encouraging results that have emerged from our efforts. based in large part upon the Principles in General
Under the outstanding leadership of Professor Vladimir Assembly Resolution 1962, establishes that the
Kopal of the Czech Republic, the Subcommittee exploration and use of outer space is to be carried out
produced some useful results and set the stage for for the benefit and in the interests of all peoples, that
further substantive discussion to take place on several outer space exploration and use are open on a non-
agenda items in future sessions. discriminatory basis, that there is freedom of scientific
investigation in outer space, and that outer space is not
This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the subject to national appropriation. The United States
United Nations General Assembly resolution 1962, the fully supports these principles and believes that this
Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Subcommittee should undertake activities that support
Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer the continued vitality of these principles rather than
Space, adopted 13 December 1963. This Declaration those that call these principles into question. The
was adopted at a time when space exploration and United States remains convinced, in particular, that to
international interaction in outer space were new entertain the possibility of the negotiation of the new
realities. Member States recognized that outer space, comprehensive space law instrument can only serve to
extraordinary in many respects, also presented unique undermine these principles and the existing space law
legal issues. They also understood at the time that the regime.
extraordinary nature of outer space and the rapid
development of human activities in it would be best My delegation was particularly pleased with
served by a pragmatic and gradual approach to these the success of the first United Nations Workshop on
legal issues. The Declaration represented a significant Capacity-Building in Space Law, hosted by the
first step in this regard. It established the fundamental Government of the Netherlands and the International
principles for the orderly use and exploration of outer Institute of Air and Space Law of the University of
space and set the stage for the negotiation and Leiden, 18 to 21 November 2002. Efforts such as this
conclusion of the four core treaties that govern our sponsored by the United Nations will certainly
activities in space today. demonstrate the benefits to be gained from adhering to
the existing body of international space law.
The year 2003 also marks the thirty-fifth
anniversary of the entry into force of the Agreement on Notwithstanding the continuing relevance of
the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the core outer space law instruments, many States,
the Return of Space Objects Launched into Outer including some members of COPUOS, have not
space. This Rescue and Return Agreement was accepted the key treaties. My delegation wishes to
founded upon a commitment to international stress the need for this Subcommittee to invite States to
cooperation in the peaceful exploration and use of consider ratifying and implementing the four core
outer space, and upon recognition of the need for space law instruments. Once ratified, of course, States
international cooperation in responding to accidents, that have accepted the core instruments should assess
emergencies or other forms of distress. It remains as the sufficiency of their nation’s laws to implement
important today as it was at its inception. The Treaty them.
elaborates on the simple but profound humanitarian
notion, as contained in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty I would like to touch briefly upon
and General Assembly Resolution 1962, that is, that developments relating to a possible Space Assets
astronauts shall be regarded as envoys of mankind in Protocol to the UNIDROIT Convention on
outer space and shall be rendered all possible International Interests in Mobile Equipment. My
assistance in the event of accident, distress or delegation would like to express its deep appreciation
emergency. Unfortunately, space exploration remains to Professor Sergio Marchisio of Italy for his efforts as
a dangerous enterprise and the possibility of accidents Chairman of the Working Group on this item and to
or emergencies is real. This Treaty establishes a congratulate him for producing highly useful and
framework for prompt and effective international interesting results. Although the Subcommittee was
response. not in a position to fully endorse the conclusions of the
Working Group report, we do believe that the views of
The principles contained in the core space law the Chairman recorded in that report deserve serious
agreements establish a framework that has encouraged consideration. We wish also to commend the
the exploration of outer space and benefited both Secretariat for the detailed and informative analysis of
space-faring and non-space-faring nations. It is the considerations relating to the possibility of the
important that we do not lose sight of how much has United Nations serving as Supervisory Authority under
been, and continues to be, achieved for humanity’s the Protocol, as contained in A/AC.105/C.2./L.238.
And finally, in 2007, the Legal Subcommittee
The United States continues to believe that the will submit a report to COPUOS on its work during the
possibility of a Space Assets Protocol that would prior three years.
facilitate the provision of commercial financing for
space activities is worth pursuing. Private activities in Finally, Mr. Chairman, my delegation wishes
outer space have become increasingly important in to express its support for the inclusion next year of
furthering space technology and exploration. another new agenda item for the purpose of drafting a
Financing for commercial activities is key to their contribution to the Committee for its report in 2004 to
future success. We were recently informed by the General Assembly on the progress made in the
UNIDROIT that it has now set a date for the first implementation of the recommendations of
session of governmental experts for the consideration UNISPACE III. Thank you.
of the preliminary draft Space Assets Protocol. We
understand that the first session will take place in The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from
December 2003 at the offices of the Food and Spanish): I thank the distinguished representative of
Agricultural Organization in Rome. We are pleased the United States for that statement.
that the Subcommittee continues to have on its agenda
the item relating to the UNIDROIT draft Space Assets And with that, we have concluded on the item
Protocol and we look forward to working with other related to the report of the Legal Subcommittee, item 9.
delegations at the next session of the Subcommittee on
this important topic. I would like to know if there are any remarks
on the two reports that we heard today or on the
Another important development at the last statement made on both topics.
session of the Legal Subcommittee concerns the
registration of space objects. We are gratified that the Distinguished delegates, I will shortly adjourn
Legal Subcommittee decided to add to its agenda a this meeting of the Committee so the Working Group
multi-year item regarding the practice of States and on the preparation of the report of the Committee to the
international organizations in registering space objects. General Assembly on progress made in the
The United States joined Austria, Australia, Canada, implementation of recommendations of UNISPACE III
the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, can hold its second meeting.
India, the Netherlands, Sweden, Ukraine and the
United Kingdom is co-sponsoring working paper Before doing so, I would like to inform
A/AC.105/C.2/L.241 and Add.1, which proposed this delegates of our schedule of work for Monday
new agenda item. We appreciate the willingness of morning.
other delegations to add this to the agenda of the next
session of the Legal Subcommittee. Monday morning, we will continue
consideration of agenda item 7, Implementation of the
Through the multi-year work plan, the Legal Recommendations of UNISPACE III, agenda item 8,
Subcommittee will examine State and international Report of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee
organization practice in recording space objects on the on its Fortieth Session, and agenda item 9, Report of
Registry established under the 1976 Registration the Legal Subcommittee on its Forty-Second Session.
Convention with the view to identify common
elements. I would like to review the elements of this During the course of the morning session, and
work plan briefly. I would like to ask you to be punctual and attentive,
Mr. Antonio Costa, Director-General of the United
In 2004, Member States and international Nations Office at Vienna, will give a statement to the
organizations will present reports on their practice in Committee. There will also be a technical presentation
registering space objects and submit the required by Mr. Claudio Portelli of the Italian Space Agency on
information to the Office for Outer Space Affairs for “Space Debris: The Beppo-SAX Experience”.
inclusion on the United Nations Registry.
At 12.00 p.m., a special tele-medicine
In 2005, there will be an examination by a demonstration has been organized and will be given by
working group of the reports submitted by Member Mr. O. Koudelka of Austria. The presentation will
States and international organizations in 2004. involve a live interactive satellite link-up.
In the year 2006, identification by a working Time permitting, the Working Group on the
group of common practices and recommendations for UNISPACE III recommendations will hold its meeting
enhancing adherence to the Registration Convention. under the chairmanship of Mr. Niklas Hedman of
And I believe that at 7.30 p.m., we have a
working group session but that is gastronomical, from
what I have heard from the delegation of Austria and I
hope that stands.
It seems there are no comments so I would
like to wish you a good weekend and a pleasant time at
the Heuriger. We will meet on Monday.
The meeting closed at 4.20 p.m.