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United Nations COPUOS/LEGAL/T.703 Committee on the Peaceful Unedited transcript Uses of Outer Space Legal Subcommittee 703rd Meeting Monday, 5 April 2004, 10 a.m. Vienna Chairman: Mr. S. Marchisio (Italy) The meeting was called to order at 10.13 a.m. the Subcommittee on the conclusions of the Working Group on Item 6. Mr. Cassapoglou, you have the floor. The CHAIRMAN: Good morning ladies and gentlemen, distinguished delegates, I now declare open Mr. V. CASSAPOGLOU (Greece) the 703rd meeting of the Legal Subcommittee of the (interpretation from French): Thank you Mr. Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I would just like to ask you as a point of order before proceeding to this task, I This morning we will begin with item 6, would like to ask you then if I could make Greece’s Status and Application of the Five United Nations general statement. Given my workload last week, I did Treaties on Outer Space, in order to allow the not have the time at the formal plenary to take the floor Chairman of the Working Group to report back to the and make my country’s statement on a number of items Plenary on the conclusions of the Working Group. We of the agenda which are currently being examined. So will then begin consideration of agenda item 10, Draft if I may, or would you prefer me to first make my Protocol on Matters Specific to Space Assets. We will report and then we turn wearing my national speakers continue agenda item 11, Contributions by the Legal hat. Thank you. Subcommittee to the Committee Report on the Recommendations of UNISPACE III, and we will The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from begin agenda item 12, Practice in Registering Space French): Thank you to the distinguished representative Objects. of Greece. You know that the general exchange of views item has been closed and so I would prefer you Following the Subcommittee plenary, the to continue with your report to the Subcommittee and Working Group on Agenda Item 10, Draft Protocol on then if the Subcommittee is in agreement we might Matters Specific to Space Assets, will hold its first then continue to listen to your statement. If I might, meeting, and the Working Group established by the could you, rather than making a comprehensive, Committee to prepare a report on the implementation overarching statement, could you look at the items of of the recommendations of UNISPACE III for the agenda that are remaining and to make specific submission to the General Assembly, will continue statements on those, or what was your plan? with informal consultations. The representative from Greece. Status and application of the five United Nations treaties on outer space (agenda item 6) Mr. V. CASSAPOGLOU (Greece) (interpretation from French): Yes, Mr. Chairman. For Distinguished delegates, I would now like to at least four years now, in order to facilitate the work invite the Chairman of the Working Group on Item 6, of the two Subcommittees and the full Committee to Status and Application of the Five United Nations make statements where we include all items of the Treaties, Mr. Vassilios Cassapoglou, to report back to agenda and include our country’s point of view on all of them in one single statement, and that might be the ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 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. V.04-54351e most appropriate, given the fact that we have and very Mr. V. CASSAPOGLOU (Greece) carefully or closely followed the items on the agenda in (interpretation from French): Thank you Mr. order but we have looked at several at the same time, it Chairman. Mr. Chairman, as I am now taking the floor might be easier to proceed in that manner. However, I officially for the first time in the full Subcommittee of am in your hands and I am happy to make as many the forty-third session of our Subcommittee, I would statements as there are unfinished items. like to begin by extending warm congratulations on behalf of Greece and my own sincere joy at seeing you The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from unanimously elected to the position of Chair. French): So we might first continue with the report Moreover, this is a remarkable event, not only for the and then I will come to the national statement. Thank Mediterranean region of Western Europe, but also for you. all member States of COPUOS and its two Subcommittees. It is a remarkable event, indeed, Mr. V. CASSAPOGLOU (Greece): Thank because it inaugurates a new era in the life of the you. Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates, ladies and Organization and institution after reorganizing working gentlemen, I am pleased to report that the Working methods. This is a process that began at Greece’s Group on Item 6 was able to reach some tangible initiative some eight years ago now. At this time, I results after its week of deliberation. The results were would like to wish you every success in your two-fold. Primo, following informal consultations, the endeavours with your very sensitive and interesting Working Group at its eighth meeting of 2 April 2004 mission and I further would like to say that my agreed on the text of a resolution on the application of delegation is pleased to reassure you of our the concept of the “launching State” for the delegation’s entire cooperation to see your efforts consideration of the United Nations General Assembly. crowned with success. The text of the draft resolution was distributed this morning in document A/AC.105/C.2/2004/CRP.16. And before briefly addressing the various issues on the agenda of this session, I would like to At its sixth meeting, the Working Group first express Greece’s sincere condolences and my own approved also the text of a model letter, together with condolences for the unexpected disappearance of our information material to be attached thereto, to be sent distinguished colleague and friend of many years, the by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to former Ambassador of Colombia, Hector Charry- Ministers of Foreign Affairs of States that have not yet Samper. I will never forget his very unique become Parties to the United Nations treaties on outer contribution to the formulation of legal norms for the space. The Working Group also agreed that the single statutes and use of the geostationary orbit, which I had letter be sent to international organizations that have developed as an author of the relevant provision of the not yet declared their acceptance of the rights and Convention, which is now a Constitution of the obligations under these treaties. We mean international International Telecommunication Union, during the organizations undertaking space activities, very difficult and innovative conference in Nairobi in intergovernmental organizations that are undertaking 1982. outer space activities. The text as revised by the Working Group was circulated this morning in Moreover, I have the same feelings of great document A/AC.105/C.2/2004/CRP.12/Rev.1. pain filling my heart and our hearts when I think of the innocent victims of the blind and atrocious terror that I think, Mr. Chairman, that is all we have struck the people of Spain and Palestine recently. I am done with these last days and I am very happy to convinced and sincerely hope that this type of barbaric realize that the Working Group was a very useful tool act, which is tyrannizing international life at this time, to promote the objectives of our Subcommittee and will instantaneously disappear when these countries especially under the agenda item 6. Thank you very can understand that the cause of this crisis, this much Mr. Chairman. endemic crisis, is the direct result of policies which deny the basic principles of the United Nations The CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much Charter. Mr. Cassapoglou for your report. Mr. Chairman, before taking up the various Are there still any delegations wishing to items of the agenda, I would like to announce to the address the Subcommittee under this agenda item? Subcommittee the following. Items 6 and 12, Status and Application of the Five Treaties, Practice of States I see none. and International Organizations Regarding the Registry of Space Objects. With regard to the activities of my Greece, please, you have the floor. country in this area, I would like to announce that the National Parliament, by adoption of Law 3333, last April, confirmed Greece’s adherence to the Convention especially for the success of space activity and the on Registry. evolution of them, globally, regardless of scientific, technological and economic progress achieved by Also, the launching of the first new Greek various countries in the world. And thus, this subject satellite of radio-communications under the name, must, of course, continue to be examined on an HELLAS SAT 2 was carried out and accompanied by ongoing basis by our Subcommittee. And on this the ILS from Cape Canaveral, United States, on 14 subject, I should also underscore the very significant May 2003, in keeping with the legal conditions set role of the Working Group which has proven to be very forth by international space law. This is a satellite that useful for international cooperation, as was solemnly was manufactured by the European company, Astrium, approved by Friday’s approval of the draft resolution and launched by ATLAS-5. A technical file, a on the concept of the launching State, as well as the complete file on HELLAS SAT 2 has already been put draft official letter from the Secretary-General of the forth with the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee United Nations to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of during its last session in February. Member States and to the leaders of international organizations and intergovernmental organizations Moreover, our Ministry of Foreign Affairs involved in space activities. And, moreover, this is maintains a national registry of objects launched in why Greece believes that the mandate of the Working space and notified, four weeks ago, the Secretary- Group which is to end this year should be renewed for General of the United Nations of this launching so that another three years so that it may continue with its the satellite can be regularly registered on the initial mission. International Registry. The Director of the Office for Outer Space Affairs informed me two days ago that, Moreover, our delegation is of the view that according to instructions received from New York, examining the subject of item 12 should be maintained they have already proceeded to the registry of the as a permanent issue, either in the context of the satellite. Working Group or in the context of a different Working Group. It is obvious that the information on Moreover, I would like to indicate that the the practices of States’ registration and, generally satellite in question does not belong to the Greek State speaking, the results of this examination can no doubt but rather to a private consortium in Cyprus which be used as a clear basis for standardization rules in includes a public operator of telecommunications, the internal law in this area. Greek aeronautical company, the Development Bank and a company which provides Internet services in And now for the next item of the agenda, Mr. Cyprus and, finally, the well-known company from Chairman, I will take the floor later. Thank you very Canada, Telesat. much Sir. It shall also be noted that the Republic of The CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much Cyprus notified the United Nations as a co-launching distinguished delegate of Greece for your statement State with Greece. and for the words that you addressed to the Chair. Moreover, radio frequencies used for the Are there still any delegations wishing to working and control and monitoring of the satellite is address the Subcommittee under this agenda item? placed on orbital position 39 degrees East of the geostationary orbit and have been reported to the I see none. International Telecommunication Union by Greece and Cyprus respectively. We will, therefore, suspend consideration of this item pending the adoption of the report of the And, finally, our country is actively preparing Working Group. for the introduction, as soon as possible, of legislative measures, regulatory and administrative measures, to Draft Protocol on Matters Specific to Space Assets register both public and private space activities. This (agenda item 10) has become increasingly urgent and even vital after the very recent approval by the European Space Agency Distinguished delegates, I would now like to Board of Greece’s request to become a full-fledged begin consideration of item 10, Draft Protocol on member in this Organization. Matters Specific to Space Assets. Before finishing with this item, I would just I would like to inform delegations that the like to underscore the great significance of this subject, first session of the UNIDROIT Committee of not only for the development of space law, but Governmental Experts took place in Rome from 15-19 December 2003 for the preparation of a revised draft The next speaker on my list is the Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in distinguished representative of the United States of Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Space America. You have the floor United States. Assets. This session was attended by representatives from the Governments of 38 States, observers of Mr. K. HODGKINS (United States of several intergovernmental organizations and observers America): Thank you Mr. Chairman for affording me of several international entities of private characters. the opportunity to present the United States views The first session of the UNIDROIT Committee of regarding the work of the International Institute for the Governmental Experts has led to a substantive progress Unification of Private Law, UNIDROIT, and the in the development of the revised text of the Space development of a Space Assets Protocol. Assets Protocol. The revised text can be found in document A/AC.105/C.2/2004/CRP.5. Since our last session, there have been some positive developments regarding this issue. I see once again Greece on the list of Implementation of the UNIDROIT Mobile Equipment speakers. You have the floor Greece. Convention, now called the Cape Town Convention, and Aircraft Protocol is now well under way. The Mr. V. CASSAPOGLOU (Greece) experience gathered in implementing these instruments (interpretation from French): Thank you Mr. will certainly prove valuable as work on the Space Chairman. With reference to item 10 of our agenda Assets Protocol continues. which has to do with the consideration of the draft Protocol with regard to UNIDROIT, I would like to In December of last year, UNIDROIT make two comments. Between (a), consideration and convened the first session of governmental experts to possibility to entrust the United Nations with the discuss the proposed Space Assets Protocol. The mission of exercising authority, monitoring authority Negotiation Session was an informative and productive of the provisions of the Protocol, the position of Greece one. The United States participated and looks forward is the same as before because we consider that the to the next Negotiation Session in October of this year. United Nations as per its Charter is not competent to assume this responsibility because it is directly My Government is a firm supporter of the involved in commercial, lucrative activities. Since at goals of the proposed Space Assets Protocol. This present there is no world space organization, it would Protocol offers an exciting opportunity to facilitate the seem preferable to either contact a specialized agency expansion of the commercial space sector, as well as to whose mission is closer to the monitoring mission enable a broader range of States in all regions and at all purposes, for example, ICAO or ITU, or by setting up levels of economic development to benefit from this possibly a new entity comprising Member States expansion. Parties to the Convention and Protocol. As we all are aware, the range and volume of Since, with regard to (b) of this item, having activities in outer space being conducted by the private to do with the link between the future of provisions in sector have increased dramatically over the last several the Protocol and the rights and obligations of the States decades and particularly within the last five to 10 with regard to the regime applicable to space, it would years. While there has been a dramatic increase in be desirable to introduce a specific provision in the such activities, it is also true that the commercial space operative part of the Protocol as has been referred to sector faces certain challenges. Commercial space during last December’s Rome UNIDROIT systems are extremely capital-intensive to plan, design, Governmental Experts Meeting. But, of course, one construct, insure, launch and operate. They can take should continue to dwell on this point without going years to complete. There is no established market for into consideration and the substance of the provisions commercial financing of such activities as exists for of the draft Protocol which exercise is the exclusive most other capital-intensive sectors. In light of the province of the Member States of UNIDROIT, as well increasing importance of commercial space activities, as the participants of the future Ad Hoc Diplomatic and the benefits that flow from these activities to all Conference. regions and all levels of economic development, the facilitation of financing for commercial space Consequently, Greece is open to any new activities, through modern private financing proposal or other idea and ready to make its mechanisms, is a pressing need. The draft Space constructive contribution. Thank you. Assets Protocol to the Cape Town Convention on International Financing of Mobile Equipment aims to The CHAIRMAN: I thank you very much address this need. Specifically, it would set a distinguished representative of Greece. framework through which States can support a system of asset-based and receivables financing. By permitting such secured financing for the space sector, it has considerable potential to enhance the availability Given these anticipated parameters, we are of commercial financing for outer space activities. open to giving further consideration to the idea of an This in turn could prove crucial to furthering the existing United Nations body such as the Office for provision of services from space to countries in all Outer Space Affairs taking on the Supervisory regions and at all levels of development. Authority role. We believe that it is appropriate that the Also on this Subcommittee’s agenda is the examination of the preliminary draft Space Protocol issue of the relationship between the terms of the has remained on the Subcommittee’s agenda and preliminary draft Protocol and the rights and would like to comment on the two issues identified for obligations of States under the legal regime applicable discussion. The first issue on the agenda is the to outer space. The Space Assets Protocol is not possibility of the United Nations serving as a intended to affect rights and obligations of States party Supervisory Authority for the Registry established to the Outer Space Treaty system or the rights and under the Protocol. We are pleased that the Secretariat, obligations of Member States of the International in consultation with the United Nations Legal Counsel, Telecommunication Union, under the International has completed its report on this issue. The report Telecommunication Union’s Constitution, Convention discusses the possibility of the United Nations agreeing and Regulations. Rather, it is intended to address the to serve as a Supervisory Authority and some of the distinct and important issue of financing for related issues, including potential liability and recovery commercial space activities, not the parameters for the of all costs in serving as Supervisory Authority. The conduct of those activities. report provides a basis for initiating and consideration of the issues. It is, of course, premature to draw any This issue was considered during the conclusions on the matter by which such a function December UNIDROIT Negotiation Session and there may be structured within the United Nations system. appeared to be substantial agreement that the Protocol should in no way alter rights and obligations under the We remain open in principle to the possibility Outer Space Treaties or the International of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs Telecommunication Union Convention. Indeed, our taking on such a role. As we are all aware, any registry delegation proposed that this principle be explicit in the established under the Protocol would be a separate and text of the Space Assets Protocol. distinct entity from the United Nations Registry, established under the Registration Convention, and for With respect to the Subcommittee, we any radio-communication sector of the International certainly believe that the Legal Subcommittee and its Telecommunication Record-Keeping, with respect to members have expertise that may be valuable in the the use of radio frequencies and related orbital development of the Protocol. Ultimately, the locations. UNIDROIT Space Assets Protocol will be negotiated by UNIDROIT Member States, through the Although the draft Protocol is in early stages UNIDROIT process, but we certainly hope that the of development, we anticipate that it will likely Subcommittee will continue to offer its assistance approach the Registry in a similar manner as has been where appropriate. done pursuant to the Aircraft Protocol. Specifically, the Registry would be a computer-based registry We were pleased that the Office for Outer including only minimal information as to possible Space Affairs participated as an observer in the creditors claims with respect to space assets. December 2003 UNIDROIT Negotiation Session. We hope that our discussions within this Subcommittee Since the Registry operator, or Registrar, will continue to be helpful in informing the positions of would not review information filed nor provide any various Member States. assurance as to its accuracy, we anticipate that registry requirements for staff and other resources would be Given the ongoing work on this topic, we quite modest. would support the continued inclusion of this topic as a one-year agenda item for the next session of the The Supervisory Authority, if an Subcommittee. Thank you Mr. Chairman. intergovernmental organization, would need generally to be immune from legal or administrative process for The CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much any issues relating to the Registry and its operation and distinguished delegate of the United States. this immunity would be set forth in the Protocol. As with the Aircraft Protocol, the Registry operator would likely be a private sector body that would bear liability. Now I have on the speakers list the observer Convention have also become Contracting States to the of the International Institute for the Unification of Aircraft Protocol, which accordingly only requires Private Law, UNIDROIT. You have the floor Sir. another four Contracting States to enter into force. A number of additional States are set fair to join the first Mr. M. J. STANFORD (International four, including the United States of America, where I Institute for the Unification of Private Law): Thank understand both the Convention and the Aircraft you Mr. Chairman. Good morning ladies and Protocol to have recently cleared the Foreign Relations gentlemen. First of all, permit me to address the Committee of the Senate. As a result, the Secretariat congratulations of the Secretariat of UNDROIT to would expect the Aircraft Protocol and, thus, the Professor Marchisio on his election as Chairman of the Convention as applied to aircraft objects to enter into Legal Subcommittee and to say what an honour it is for force later this year. For its effective operation, the UNIDROIT to be present at the forty-third session of Convention would depend on the existence of an the Legal Subcommittee. And I am greatly looking international registry for each of the different forward to following the discussions of the Legal categories of objects covered by a Protocol. Subcommittee and its Working Group, both on the possibility of the United Nations serving as The funding necessary for the establishment Supervisory Authority under the future Protocol on of an International Registry for Aircraft Objects, Matters Specific to Space Assets and on the having been secured earlier this year, the tendering relationship between the terms of the preliminary draft process for the establishment of that Registry was Space Protocol and the rights and obligations of States launched in late January of this year. A number of under the legal regime applicable to outer space, and tenders have already been received by the International where the Legal Subcommittee and its Working Group Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO. The Preparatory judge appropriate to assisting them in their Commission set up by the Cape Town Diplomatic deliberations. Conference to act as provisional Supervisory Authority for the establishment of the Registry under the My intention in this preliminary statement is guidance and supervision of the ICAO Council, will be not only to bring members of the Legal Subcommittee holding its second session in Montreal on 27 and 28 up-to-date with the situation concerning the Cape May. On that occasion, the Preparatory Commission Town Convention in general and the preliminary draft will be examining the different tenders submitted and Space Protocol in particular, but also to seek to respond deciding which to accept. As a result, we would expect to the questions addressed to me by the Legal the International Registry for Aircraft Objects to be Subcommittee at the end of its forty-second session. operational at the latest by the end of the current year and perhaps even as early as September. To start with, permit me to put you in the picture of the developments regarding the Convention Clearly, for UNIDROIT, as Depositary of the and the preliminary draft Protocol over the past 12 Cape Town Convention and the Aircraft Protocol, the months. most important concern is an International Registry for Aircraft Objects should be up and running by the time To take the Convention first, it now counts 28 of the entry into force of the Convention, as applied to Signature States. I have given you a list in the recent aircraft objects. As Depositary, UNIDROIT has the version of this statement and I will not, therefore, duty to communicate all instruments of ratifications repeat them but they include a variety, a cross-section and the declarations made thereunder to both the of States from different parts of the world and different Supervisory Authority and the International Registry legal and economic systems. The Convention also for Aircraft Objects. counts four Contracting States, namely Ethiopia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Panama. It entered into force for Given the extremely complex nature of the Ethiopia, Nigeria and Panama on 1 April 2004, albeit system of declarations underpinning the Convention only as regards a category of objects to which the and the Aircraft Protocol, these depositary functions go Protocol applies. This means that the only Protocol to way beyond the normal functions of a Depositary. the Convention to have been completed to date being the Aircraft Protocol, the Convention will in all Given further the entirely computerized nature likelihood enter into force effectively upon the entry of the future International Registry, time would be very into force of the Aircraft Protocol. Whereas the much of the essence in UNIDROIT’s communications Convention entered into force following deposit of the to the International Registry if the Registry, and third instrument of ratification, the Aircraft Protocol is therefore the Convention as applied to its aircraft set to enter into force following deposit of the eighth objects are to work effectively. instrument of ratificational accession. The same States that have already become Contracting States to the Turning now to the preliminary draft Space And secondly, the introduction of a limitation Protocol, as announced by the Chairman, our first on the exercise of remedies under certain session of governmental experts met in Rome last circumstances in relation to public services. December to review the preliminary draft Protocol prepared by a Space Working Group, convened at the Of particular interest to the Legal request of the President of UNIDROIT, by Mr. Nesgos, Subcommittee, in view of the fact this is one of the two a well-known expert in the field of satellite financing. questions on its agenda here, will be the introduction by the Committee of Governmental Experts of a new Professor Marchisio, the Head of the Italian provision, referred to by the representative of the delegation and the new Chairman of the Legal United States of America, providing the Convention as Subcommittee, was elected Chairman of the applied to space assets does not affect States Parties Committee of Governmental Experts and I would rights and obligations under the existing United submit that it would be hard to imagine a more Nations outer space treaties or instruments of the reassuring guarantee of the most complete coordination International Telecommunication Union. and cooperation between the two bodies presided over by Professor Marchisio. The next session of the Committee of Governmental Experts will be held in Rome on 25-29 The level of discussion at the first session was October. Invitations will be going out to all Member extremely high. The session permitted a first reading States of both UNIDROIT and COPUOS, as was the of the entire text of the substantive provisions of the case with the first session of the Committee. preliminary draft Protocol and there was, moreover, time for most of the changes agreed by the Committee In the meantime, as I announced in the Legal of Governmental Experts to be implemented by the Subcommittee last year, we have been busy organizing Drafting Committee during the session. The text of the colloquia designed to provide fora where preliminary draft Space Protocol that you have before representatives of government and industry can get you is, indeed, the text as it emerged from the session. together to _________ (inaudible) critically the objectives pursued by the preliminary draft Protocol. I do not think you would want me to go into The idea behind these colloquia was to assist the too much detail with the issues discussed in Rome. intergovernmental consultation process by providing Perhaps though I might be permitted to touch briefly the governments involved with an opportunity to get to on the principle innovations made. These mainly know the preliminary draft Protocol and its commercial concerned, on the one hand, the sphere of application objectives better, in particular so as to ensure that we provisions of the preliminary draft Protocol, and on the come out of the intergovernmental consultation process other, the provisions dealing with default remedies. with an instrument that is commercially viable. So far, we have held one such colloquium, organized for the The main change to the sphere of application countries of the Western Hemisphere, held last provisions involve the replacement of the term September in Paris at the kind invitation of the “associated rights” already a term employed in the Director-General of the European Space Agency. A Cape Town Convention itself by two new terms, follow-up colloquium this time for the countries of “debtors rights” and “related rights”. This change was Asia and the Asia-Pacific Region is to be held in Kuala absolutely necessary, given the different meanings Lumpur on 22 and 23 April 2004. This colloquium is given to the term “associated rights” in the two being held in Kuala Lumpur at the kind invitation of instruments”. The Space Working Group put forward Professor Mazlan Othman, the former Director of the a detailed set of proposals dealing with the application United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and of the Convention and the preliminary draft Protocol to currently Director-General of the Malaysian National both “debtors rights” and “related rights”. These Space Agency. important proposals will be discussed at the next session of the Committee of Governmental Experts. The discussions in Paris proved extremely useful in preparing the ground to be covered at the first The two principle changes relate to the session of governmental experts. To give but one provisions of the preliminary draft Protocol concerning example, the need to replace the term “associated default remedies, concerned first the provision of a rights” by the two new terms “debtors rights” and new remedy, replacing of data and materials with “related rights” that I referred to earlier, came to light another person in order to afford the creditor the in Paris. opportunity to take possession of, established control over or operate the space assets. We may, therefore, expect the colloquium in Kuala Lumpur to prove equally useful in preparing the ground to be covered at the second session of As of today, the matter has thus been Governmental Experts. considered by the Advisory Committee of the International Mobile Satellite Organization and is It would surely be particularly helpful for the under consideration within the Legal Affairs Unit of countries of Asia and the Asia-Pacific Region that have the International Telecommunication Union and the not previously had anything like the same opportunity International Relations Committee of the European as the countries of the Western Hemisphere to become Space Agency. acquainted with the preliminary draft Protocol. Having thus brought you more or less up-to- Invitations to the Kuala Lumpur colloquium date with the situation regarding the Convention and have been addressed to the governments of all Asian the preliminary draft Space Protocol, permit me to seek and Asia-Pacific member States of COPUOS. Only a to respond to the questions put to me by the Legal small number of these governments have, however, to Subcommittee through the Chairman of its Working date responded to our invitation. Speaking, therefore, Group at last year’s session of the Legal for UNIDROIT, permit me to address an appeal to the Subcommittee. representatives of the Asian and Asia-Pacific governments of COPUOS gathered here today to press You will recall that the Chairman of the their governments to give urgent consideration to the Working Group asked UNIDROIT to provide it with desirability of being appropriately represented at this additional information concerning first the most important event for the countries of Asia and the acceptability of the United Nations acting as Asia-Pacific Region, particularly those interested in Supervisory Authority of the future international development of commercial space activity. registration system under the terms of the Charter of the United Nations. Secondly, the liability It was made quite clear to us at last year’s implications for the United Nations of any decision by session of the Legal Subcommittee that, it to accept such functions, and thirdly, the manner in notwithstanding the encouragingly broad measure of which the start-up funding for the future international support for the idea of the United Nations acting as registration system would be provided. Members of Supervisory Authority for the future international the Legal Subcommittee will recall that even though registration system for space assets, still enjoyed within my reply was not recorded in the report on the last the Legal Subcommittee. The fact that the wheels of session, I did take the floor immediately after the the intergovernmental consultation process are already invitation addressed to me by the Chairman of the turning means that we, in the UNIDROIT Secretariat, Working Group to indicate that whilst I would see no necessarily also have to start also thinking about difficulty in my providing such additional information possible alternative solutions in the event that it is regarding the start-up funding for the registration ultimately decided that the United Nations should not system, it seemed that the United Nations Secretariat act as Supervisory Authority. was in a rather better position than UNIDROIT to provide additional information requested concerning At this point, permit me, nevertheless, to the acceptability of the United Nations acting as reiterate what I said on the occasion of last year’s Supervisory Authority under the United Nations session of the Legal Subcommittee, maybe that both Charter and the liability implications of any such UNIDROIT and the Space Working Group have long decision. tended in principle to believe that the United Nations would be the most appropriate organization to serve as I, therefore, suggest that the United Nations Supervisory Authority of the future international Office for Outer Space Affairs, in consultation with the registration system. Office of the Legal Counsel to the United Nations be invited to provide the additional information requested The point is, though, that as you move on these two items. forward to the second session of intergovernmental experts, the governments involved in the I wrote to the Secretariat of the Office for intergovernmental consultation process have legitimate Outer Space Affairs immediately after I received the interest in knowing as soon as possible the identity of report on the last session asking them to ensure that my the future Supervisory Authority. And this explains statement be recorded in the appropriate place so as to why the UNIDROIT Secretariat has been in touch with avoid any future unfortunate misunderstandings on the a number of other intergovernmental organizations subject. with a view to ascertaining their possible interest in being considered for the role of Supervisory Authority. I do not, therefore, intend to encroach on what I see as the competence of the United Nations Secretariat to provide the additional information undoubtedly much easier to get agreement between requested on those two matters. parties on the sharing of responsibility, especially where money is concerned, and the practical details of As regards the start-up funding of the future this agreement and in particular the financial international registration system, I would suggest that implications are spread out in advance, rather than left some enlightenment may be found in the experience to be worked out as best as possible afterwards. And acquired in connection with the establishment of the this is one of the reasons why it is so important to get International Registry for Aircraft Objects. agreement on the body that is to exercise the functions of Supervisory Authority as early as possible in the What, first of all, is to be understood by the intergovernmental consultation process. notion of start-up funding in the context of the establishment of the future international registration As I have indicated, it was ICAO, having been system? In the case of the International Registry for invited by the Diplomatic Conference to act as Aircraft Objects, the amount of start-up feeding needed Supervisory Authority for aircraft objects, that was estimated by ICAO, basically in terms of what effectively determined the financial parameters of the would be needed to complete the tendering process establishment of that system. The Supervisory and, thus, in effect, the appointment of the Registrar. Authority of the future international registration system On that occasion, ICAO estimated the sum of for space assets will thus have a decisive role to play in US$250,000 would be needed to establish the determining the sort of start-up funding that would be International Registry of Aircraft Objects, a large required. The earlier the question of the Supervisory proportion of which would go to ensure a fully Authority for space assets can, in principle, be transparent selection process. resolved, the earlier governments and the interested private parties can, together with that Supervisory The Cape Town Diplomatic Conference Authority, get to work on the details of how precisely basically left the matter of how these funds were to be responsibility for the provision of start-up funding is to obtained to the States that had participated in the be apportioned. Diplomatic Conference and what the relevant resolution referred to as interested private parties. The I am sorry, Mr. Chairman, if I have not given resolution in question, in effect, urged the States you exactly a clear answer as to how the start-up participating in the Conference and interested private funding for the future international registration system parties and I quote “to make available at the earliest should be provided. I think, though, that I have possible date, the necessary start-up funding on a indicated how an effective system for dealing with the voluntary basis”. As I have already indicated, this has problem could be devised. A most important element fortunately finally yielded the desired results, even if it of this solution is very much in your hands. Thank you took rather longer than expected. Mr. Chairman. Finally, while a certain part of the start-up The CHAIRMAN: I thank you very much funding was contributed by governments, the majority distinguished representative of UNIDROIT for your ended up being contributed by the representatives of comprehensive statement and I thank you also for your those interested private parties, in the case in point kind words. I would like to remind all delegations that members of the Aviation Working Group which brings the document was circulated last year, that is document together representatives of the different parties A/AC.105/C.2/L.238, that contains information about involved in international aviation finance, namely the the issues of the legal implications for the United manufacturers, the airlines and the financiers. Nations as Supervisory Authority and the question of liability of the Supervisory Authority. This is a quite What does experience tell us regarding the complete document and this is why I would ask to put desirable scenario to be aimed for in the context of the it for your attention. future international registration system for space assets? My personal feeling, and here I am not, of Are there any other delegations wishing to course, speaking either for UNIDROIT or for its speak on this agenda item at this morning’s session? Member Governments, is that we need to get agreement between representatives of government and I see the delegation of China. China, you industry in advance of the conclusion of the future have the floor. Space Protocol. As to, first, the amount of start-up funding that would be needed, and secondly, how Mr. W. QU (China) (interpretation from responsibility for these funds is to be shared out as Chinese): Thank you Mr. Chairman. First the Chinese between governments on the one hand and the delegation would like to say that we favourably interested private parties on the other. It is welcome the reconvening of the Working Group to look at the issue of space assets. With regard to the in this area and experience of different countries in this private sector committing more and more of its area, whether it be the International Registry Office or energies to space activity, we believe that it is the Protocol on Aeronautical Objects. And due to the necessary for the Legal Subcommittee to examine nature of the United Nations, we would lean towards a issues related to their activities. designation of the conference of parties of the Protocol of the Convention on Mobile Equipment and Materials We would also like to thank the representative as an authority for monitoring this activity. And we of UNIDROIT for a very detailed presentation on the could possibly even envisage the United Nations progress being made on the Protocol on Space Assets. assuming this role with one condition to be fulfilled which is that the United Nations would not be The development of this Protocol is an issue responsible for expenses incurred in this responsibility which is dear to the Chinese Government’s heart. We and it would only be limited to overseeing damages sent a delegation to participate in the first session of the and interests and liability. Thank you. Committee of Intergovernmental Experts that was held in Rome last December and also the meeting held in The CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in March of this year. We distinguished delegate of China. have noted that during the Rome session, the government experts and representatives of different And now I have Greece on my list. You have countries had in-depth discussions on the draft Protocol the floor. and reached a preliminary consensus on a number of provisions. We also noted that some provisions came Mr. V. CASSAPOGLOU (Greece) to the attention of all countries, such as the ties (interpretation from French): Thank you Mr. between the treaties on space law and the Protocol, the Chairman. I very carefully listened to the comments notion of space assets and space assets used for the by our eminent colleague from UNIDROIT and public good, just to mention a few. through you, Mr. Chairman, I would like to express my gratitude. The representatives of our Government actively participated in the discussions at these I have requested the floor to address two meetings and formulated comments on a number of minor issues. They are really questions that I would issues. like to ask him through you first. China continues, and will continue to examine Is there a synopsis or minutes or some sort of this draft Protocol in depth and it will continue to summary of what happened at the meeting in Rome participate in the work to draft it. last December? And then I have found a two or three page report on the subject but it was not finalized but Mr. Chairman, turning now to the items that in that report, I read that the representative of the we are currently discussing today, we believe that the Office for Outer Space Affairs made a formal financing system as established, or as could be statement and in the statement he noted that there is an established by the Protocol, is based on a number of ongoing agreement with regard to the exercise of rules based on international private law and trade law. functions by the United Nations. And I also noticed And yet, the international space law is of the public the same idea reflected in the text given to me a month domain. The two are interrelated. The relations ago, that is “Highlights 2003” on space law. That, of governing them are different and thus it would be course, is drafted by the International Institute for appropriate to discuss the ties between these two legal Space Law, if I am not mistaken, but there, once again, bodies more in depth in terms of the practice of it and there was reiteration of perhaps not an entirely correct since the financial systems established by the Protocol idea. Again, though, it was said that the Working could play a very positive role in terms of space Group and Subcommittee are, in the majority, activities in the context of space law treaties. Given favourable and yet we have not noted that here and so, that, we believe that the Protocol should clearly Mr. Chairman, I was wondering if it is possible to have stipulate that the Protocol should not call into question the minutes of the meeting in Rome, that is if they are the rights and obligations conferred upon States by the published. And I would further like to know how this space law treaties, specifically international quote appears in the publication “Highlights 2003”, responsibility assumed by a State with regard to any which is a published document. It is published by the space activities undertaken by non-governmental Office but it is not entirely responsible for the contents agencies in its territory. of that publication. With regard to monitoring activities, we Those are two comments I had that I wanted believe that it would be appropriate to study practices to bring to your attention and I would like to reserve the right to return to this subject, that is the statement serve as Supervisory Authority, no decision had as yet made by the distinguished representative of been taken”. Thank you Mr. Chairman. UNIDROIT with regard to the United Nations ability or competence to assume this function. Thank you The CHAIRMAN: Are you satisfied, very much Sir. distinguished delegate of Greece by this? The CHAIRMAN: Thank you distinguished Mr. V. CASSAPOGLOU (Greece): Yes representative of Greece. As far as one of your thank you. I am completely satisfied. Thank you. questions is concerned, that is to say the declaration made by the Office for Outer Space Affairs The CHAIRMAN: Are there any other representative to the Rome first session, I may confirm delegations wishing to speak on this agenda item? that this statement was in the sense that the issue of the appropriateness of the United Nations acting as I see the Indian delegation. India, you have Supervisory Authority is under consideration within the floor Sir. the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations and nothing more. This was the precise statement by the Mr. N. SINGH (India): Thank you Mr. representative of the United Nations Office for Outer Chairman. Mr. Chairman, like other delegations I note Space Affairs. that the item we are presently considering, that is the Protocol on Space Assets to the Cape Town As far as the other point, I think that the Convention, is a very important topic on our agenda representative of UNIDROIT can easily answer your but with the increasing role of private sector question. May I add that the tendency recognized in participants in outer space activities, there is a need for principle that the United Nations could act as having an instrument to cover the questions of Supervisory Authority is, in my opinion, the result of financing and other related issues that arise. the last session of the Working Group, in the sense that there was a great majority of States not opposing in However, Mr. Chairman, as other delegations principle this possibility. This was my understanding have also pointed out, there are certain issues which and I think that it is the pure truth. Thank you. this would raise and we agree with them that this Protocol should not affect the rights and obligations of I give now the floor to the representative of States under the outer space treaties or have any effect UNIDROIT. on the provisions of the agreements of the International Telecommunication Union. Mr. M. J. STANFORD (International Institute for the Unification of Private Law): Thank Mr. Chairman, my delegation, or my country, you Mr. Chairman. I would like then just to confirm has participated in the meeting of the UNIDROIT in basically what you yourself said in response to the Rome, held in December 2003, and we will also question raised by the distinguished representative of participate in the meeting in Malaysia which is coming Greece, namely that, but first of all to apologize to the up. On the question of the United Nations assuming representative of Greece that there is not a final report the role as a registry, Mr. Chairman, we agree with on the session. That, of course, is entirely my fault and other delegations that the United Nations cannot mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, but unfortunately I assume any financial liabilities if it were to assume the have had rather a lot on my plate in recent months but responsibilities of the Registrar. And there are other the report hopefully will be available immediately after issues also which we need to discuss and consider here our Governing Council session which takes place in a before a final view can be taken on this. Thank you week’s time when I hopefully would have a minute. Mr. Chairman. But I may perhaps refer representatives to the draft report on the plenary session held on 19 December The CHAIRMAN: I thank you very much 2003. I think probably the document that Professor distinguished representative of India. Cassapoglou is referring to, that is WP.22 and in paragraph 95 it stated that “the observer from the Are there any other delegations wishing to United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs referred speak on this agenda item at this morning’s session? to the information provided by Mr. Stanford and added that the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs I see none. had been looking in particular at the question of possible conflicts between the preliminary draft We will, therefore, continue with our Protocol and the United Nations treaties as well as the consideration of agenda item 10, Draft Protocol on question of whether or not the United Nations could Matters Specific to Space Assets, this afternoon. Contributions by the Legal Subcommittee to the The second bullet point “Increasing the active Committee Report on the recommendations of participation by member States of the Committee”. UNISPACE III (agenda item 11) And the last bullet point “Increasing the Distinguished delegates, I would now like to participation of entities of the United Nations system”. continue consideration of agenda item 11, Contributions by the Legal Subcommittee to the I would, of course, very much welcome if Committee Report on the Recommendations of there are any delegations that already now could give UNISPACE III. their views on these bullet points, on these possible elements to be included in Chapter VI of the report of Are there any delegations wishing to speak on UNISPACE III + 5. So if there are any comments right this agenda item this morning? now at this morning’s meeting, I would very much welcome that. Thank you very much Mr. Chairman. I recognize the distinguished delegate of Greece. Greece, you have the floor. The CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much Mr. Chairman of the Working Group on the Mr. V. CASSAPOGLOU (Greece) contributions of this Subcommittee to the report of (interpretation from French): Thank you Mr. UNISPACE III + 5 and I would follow your suggestion Chairman. Just very briefly then to express our and ask delegations to have any comments or appreciation with regard to the progress achieved by suggestions concerning the non-paper, and particularly the Working Group on the recommendations with the three bullet points that are at the end under Chapter regard to UNISPACE III and we would also like to VI, Strengthening the Role of the Committee on the congratulate our colleague, Mr. Hedman from Sweden, Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, Its Subcommittees and for his very significant contribution in this regard and Its Secretariat in Promoting the Exploration and for the support given to Ms. Takemi Chiku from the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Secretariat given to that Chairman. Thank you. I see none. The CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much distinguished delegate of Greece. We will, therefore, continue our consideration of agenda item 11, Contributions by the Legal Are there any other delegations wishing to Subcommittee to the Committee Report on the speak on this agenda item at this morning’s session? Recommendations of UNISPACE III, this afternoon. Sweden? Sweden, you have the floor. I would like to thank our colleague from the Swedish delegation who did a very good job on this Mr. N. HEDMAN (Sweden): Thank you item. very much Mr. Chairman. I will take the floor in my capacity as Chairman of the Working Group in order to Practice in registering space objects (agenda item produce this UNISPACE III + 5 report. And allow me, 12) Mr. Chairman, first of all, to thank my dear colleague from Greece for his kind words to me. Distinguished delegates, I would now like to begin consideration of item 12, Practice in Registering Now, Mr. Chairman, last week on Friday, you Space Objects. circulated a non-paper on possible draft elements for the contributions of the Legal Subcommittee to the Before we begin our consideration of this report that we are considering and at the end of that agenda item, I would like to give the floor to the page, there is a reference to the draft Chapter VI and a United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs to make new section in Chapter VI, The Way Ahead, that a presentation on the Register of Objects Launched into would read “C. Strengthening the Role of the Outer Space, as agreed by the Committee at its forty- Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, Its sixth session. Subcommittees and the Secretariat in Promoting the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space”. And If there are no objections, we shall proceed there are three bullet points and I will read them out. accordingly. The first bullet point “Taking greater I see none. advantage of the mechanism of revised agenda structure of the Legal Subcommittee”. I, therefore, give the floor to the Office for their presentation. I give the floor to Ms. Natercia Rodrigues for the presentation of the Office on the 2003. In addition, two international intergovernmental Register. organizations have declared their acceptance of rights and obligations to the Convention, namely the Ms. N. RODRIGUES (Deputy Secretary, European Space Agency and the European Office for Outer Space Affairs): Thank you Mr. Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Chairman, distinguished delegates. The aim of this Satellites, known as EUMETSAT. presentation is to give delegates an introductory overview of the United Nations Register of Objects The main function of the United Nations Launched into Outer Space and the general practices of Register is to make provision for national registration Member States and international organizations under by launching States of objects launched into outer the Registration Convention. space, to serve as a central register of objects launched into outer space and to provide for State Parties There are, in fact, two separate, yet additional means and procedures to assist in the complementary, registers of the objects launched into identification of space objects. outer space maintained by the United Nations. The first Register, you will recall, was established in 1961 I will just go over a few facts about the in accordance with the General Assembly resolution information that is contained in the Register. 1721B of 20 December 1961. This Register was superseded by the Register established in accordance In accordance with Article III, the Secretary- with the Registration Convention which was adopted in General is required to maintain a register in which 1976. The original Register is still used to disseminate information, furnished in accordance with Article IV, information today on space objects from Member shall be recorded. It also requires that there be full and States who are not Party to the Registration open access to the information in this Register. The Convention. That information is distributed through a Register was established and is maintained by the document series, A/AC.105/INF. Office for Outer Space Affairs on behalf of the Secretary-General. The first document that we To date, nearly 6,200 objects have been published under the Register is ST/SG.SER.E1, which registered under the General Assembly resolution was issued on 14 April 1977 and contains information 1721B. The most recent submission was from the on space objects launched by the United States of Philippines in April 2003, registering their Agila-II America as of 31 December 1976. communications satellite in document A/AC.105/INF.409. Other Member States who have Since then, almost 450 documents containing provided information since 1976 include Algeria, registration data on over 6,750 space objects have been Brazil, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg and Malaysia. published. The last document, number 446, was issued only a few days ago. It is worth noting that some Parties have also re-submitted their information on space objects to be As mentioned earlier, the Office also included on the Register established under the continues to maintain the Register first published in Registration Convention. accordance with the General Assembly resolution 1721B of 20 December 1961. That Register contains The presentation we have for you this information furnished by Member States on a morning is going to focus primarily on the Register voluntary basis. established under the Registration Convention and the information provided by Member States thereunder. All registration information received in accordance with the Registration Convention, as well The Registration Convention was adopted by as General Assembly resolution 1721B, is maintained the United Nations General Assembly on 12 November by the Office for Outer Space Affairs in printed as well 1974 as General Assembly resolution 3235. It was as electronic form and is updated on a regular basis. open for signature on 14 January 1975 and entered into The total number of space objects in the electronic force on 15 September 1976. The Convention registry at 31 March 2004 is 11,937. This figure requested the Secretary-General to establish a Register includes both functional and non-functional objects. in which information furnished is recorded. About 5,600 of these objects are still in orbit around the Earth and beyond. As of 1 January 2004, there have been 45 ratifications and four signatures by Member States. In this table, you will find the number of The most recent ratification was by Greece, as we space objects that were registered by Parties to the heard this morning, who deposited an instrument of Registration Convention. You will find that behind ratification with the Secretary-General on 27 May some States’ names you will find the words “voluntary registration” and this indicates those Member States or beyond, 55 per cent have been registered in who are not Party to the Convention but have compliance with the Registration Convention. A nevertheless provided information according with further 38 per cent have been registered in accordance resolution 1721B. with the General Assembly resolution 1721B. Roughly seven per cent, approximately 390 objects, however, The asterisks in the table indicate those States have not been registered with the United Nations. that are also providing information on non-functional objects. Article IV sets out the actual information to be provided by the parties. Paragraph 1, thereof, states For your convenience, I will go through the that the information should be furnished as soon as articles of the Convention and highlight some practices practicable. The Convention does not define a time noted by the Office since the Register was established. frame for the submission of information. Article I provides that space object includes In general, the time taken for submission of component parts of a space object as well as its launch information ranges from weeks after launch to years. vehicle and parts thereof. As the chart illustrates, On average, the time taken for registration is roughly nearly 56 per cent of all objects registered under the two to three months. Registration Convention are actually non-functional. Present practice can be categorized in two With regard to registration of functional and ways. One, some parties, especially those who operate non-functional objects, the Office has noted the launch vehicles for their own use or for customers, following. Some States provide information on all provide information on a bi-monthly or quarterly basis. space objects including non-functional objects and Two, other parties provide information on a less objects that are generated during and after launch. This frequent basis. This can range from immediately after includes objects generated through impacts, explosions the launch to information on all objects launched and so forth. Other States provide information on during the previous year. functional objects and non-functional objects such as third stages that are produced during or immediately In addition, occasionally the United Nations after launch. They do, however, not include has also received information on space objects prior to information on objects created after the launch phase. their launch. In these cases, the Office keeps the Other States provide information on functional objects information on file and after launch confirms the only. Generally, most States that have registered information before issuing a registration document. objects under the Registration Convention fall in this group. In Article IV, paragraph 2, the Registration Convention states that the following information Article I states that “a State of Registry means should be provided, namely: the name of the launching a launching State on whose registry a space object is State or States; an appropriate designator of the space carried in accordance with Article II”. object or its registration number; the date and territory or location of the launch; basic orbital parameters Article II provides that “where there are two including a nodal period, inclination, apogee and or more launching States in respect of any such space perigee; as well as the general function of the space object, they shall jointly determine which one of them object. shall register the object”. In addition, Article IV, paragraph 3, requires Over the years, the Office has noted that some that each State of registry to notify the Secretary- space objects are registered by more than one party. General of the United Nations, to the greatest extent feasible and as soon as practicable, of space objects We have just illustrated a few examples. For concerning which it has previously transmitted example, the satellite Insat 1A and its launcher rocket, information and which have been but no longer are in the space probe ULYSSES and most recently, the Earth orbit. meteorological satellite MSG-1. With regard to the appropriate designator, the It has also noted that registration of space Office has noted the following: objects is sometimes overlooked where more than one State is involved. Nearly all parties provide common names for their space objects; As the pie chart indicates, of all the functional or formerly functional objects launched into Earth orbit Some parties use the COSPAR international greatest distance of the space object’s orbit from the designator, an example of which would be 2004-001A, Earth’s surface; and perigee, the closest distance of the and this is a designator, for example, for the Brazilian space object’s orbit to the Earth’s surface. communications satellite, Estrela do Sul 1. This designator is nominally assigned by the World Wide As this data gives us an idea of the space Agency on Satellite Information on behalf of the object’s place or position relative to the Earth, some Committee on Space Research, COSPAR, and has general observations can be made as follows. There been done so since 1957. The international designator are no standardized units, and in this sense we refer to is based on the year of launch, the number of kilometre, minutes or degrees for reporting the orbital successful launches and the priority or order of the parameters. The parameters technically refer to objects space objects deployed or detected; orbiting the Earth, in this case the “gee” in the apogee and perigee refer to the Earth. The orbital parameters Some parties provide designators based on do not convey information for objects in geostationary entries in their national registry. In these cases, the Earth orbit. Space objects in this orbit, by definition, common name is also provided; have very similar orbital parameters. The unique basic parameter for an object in GSO would be its location Some parties also use a designator assigned in relative to the Equator, normally stated as longitude a catalogue of space objects maintained by the United degrees East or West. States of America’s Strategic Command, known as USSTRATCOM, a catalogue based on observational or It is, however, worth noting that in the radar data formerly maintained by USSPACECOM and majority of cases, the GSO positions are registered made available through the NASA Orbital Information with the International Telecommunication Union and Group. are actually in the public domain. In some cases, the description of requested With regard to the practice of parties in information is too vague, resulting in different providing orbital information, it can be broken down as interpretations. Instances where identification of a follows. Some States provide the initial orbit, others space object becomes difficult are a different way of the intermediate or parking orbit and still others the spelling and the use of generic names. final operational orbit. Data on apogee, perigee are usually provided as heights above the Earth surface in With relation to date of launch, some parties kilometres. However, sometimes the distance from the use Greenwich Mean Time, GMT, also called centre of the Earth, which is taken to be 6,378 Universal Time Coordinated, UTC. In other cases, kilometres, is used. Orbital data is sometimes also parties use the local time at the place of launch or the provided on objects beyond Earth’s orbit, such as the national meridian time, for example, Moscow Time. interplanetary probes. This information can refer to the orbit around a different planet, moon or asteroid. In As a result of the different practice with some cases, the orbit is around the Sun and a different regard to the time of launch, identifying a space object type of data is given. Some parties provide the based solely on the registered date can pose a problem, location of objects in GSO, others do not. as the time registered may be out more or less by one day. The information provided on orbital data may, therefore, not always reflect a space object’s With relation to the territory or location of operational orbit. For example, objects that are in GSO launch, the Office has noted that some parties provide may be registered with a transfer orbit. In addition, information on the location and territory of launch, different units are sometimes used for reporting especially if the object is launched from the territory of parameters. another State. In other cases, when a space object is launched from another State, no information is And of the general function of a space object, provided on the location or territory. However, some the Office has noted that some parties provide generic launches outside the territory of the State of registry functions with minimum information content, while are not always indicated as such. other parties, however, provide detailed information including physical descriptions of the object, frequency By looking at the basic orbital parameters that plans used by the space objects, and so forth. are provided. I will just go through basically the different parameters there are in the Convention. The Under Article IV, paragraph 2, the nodal period which is the time to complete one orbit; Convention states that “each State of registry may, inclination, this is the angle made by the objects orbit from time to time, provide the Secretary-General of the relative to the Earth’s Equator; the apogee is the United Nations with additional information concerning satellites launched from French and non-French launch a space object carried on its registry”. facilities. The Office has noted that in the past this Presently there are a number of unregistered Article has been used by parties to provide additional space objects being operated by intergovernmental information on space objects in orbit; provide international organizations. However, information information when a satellite ceases to function, as has pertaining to the operators of those objects is available been done on occasion by the Czech Republic, India, through the International Telecommunication Union. Italy and Sweden; it has also been used to report the impending re-entry of space objects. Notable instances Mr. Chairman, finally, just a few conclusions include the Russian Mir Space Station and the United of the presentation. The United Nations Register of States of America’s Compton Gamma-ray Objects Launched into Outer Space is the sole source Observatory. of information provided by governments and international organizations on all types of space This article has also been used in conjunction objects. As such, all States and intergovernmental with nuclear power sources principles to provide organizations that operate space objects should be emergency information concerning impending decay. party to the Convention or declare their acceptance of the rights and obligations under the Convention. With regard to the re-entry of space objects, Parties should remember to determine who the State of this has been a matter that has become of great interest Registry is when more than one party is involved. to the public of late. The re-entry of the Mir Space Station captured worldwide attention, of course. The function of the Register would be Article IV, paragraph 3, requires parties to notify the enhanced if parties harmonized the information Secretary-General of the United Nations to the greatest provided to the Register. For example, the COSPAR extent feasible as soon as practicable of space objects International Designator as a means of identifying the concerning which it has previously transmitted space object; Greenwich Mean Time for the date of information and which have been but are no longer in launch; and kilometres, minutes and degrees as Earth orbit. standard units for the basic orbital parameters. In addition, the final operation orbit of a space object In practice, some parties to the Convention could also be provided. provide actual date of re-entry on a specific basis. Other parties provide information on a monthly basis, We have also noted some additional for example, an object ceased to exist by the end of the information that would facilitate the maintenance of month. the Register. A lot of this information is already available in the public domain and would serve to In other cases, however, information on when make the Register even more effective. For example, a space object has ceased to orbit the Earth is not the GSO location; the date of decay and re-entry based received. on GMT or UTC; web links to official information on the space object; and notification when an object is no The lack of information or non-specific dates longer functional. of decay sometimes hamper the ability to identify a space object that has returned to Earth. Mr. Chairman, this concludes my presentation. Thank you very much. With regard to Article VII, the Convention provides that international organizations conducting The CHAIRMAN: I thank you very much space activities can declare their acceptance of the Ms. Rodrigues for this comprehensive statement, very rights and obligations under that Convention. To date, useful for this presentation, that is an excellent basis only two intergovernmental organizations have for our deliberations. I thank also the Office for Outer declared acceptance of the rights and obligations under Space Affairs for its work, for the work done. the Registration Convention, as I mentioned earlier, the European Space Agency and the EUMETSAT. I have now on my list one speaker, the delegation of the United States of America. You have In the case of the European the floor United States. Telecommunications Satellite Organization, EUTELSAT, France has agreed that it shall register Mr. K. HODGKINS (United States of EUTELSAT satellites on a temporary basis until such America): Thank you Mr. Chairman. My delegation is time as EUTELSAT is fully eligible to register them pleased to have the opportunity to share with you our itself. This arrangement applies to EUTELSAT views on the question of the practice of States and international organizations in registering space objects The Registry is updated quarterly on the basis of under the Convention on Registration of Objects information provided by the United States Strategic Launched into Outer Space. Under this agenda item Command which maintains a catalogue of all space during the present session, Member States and objects. The information on the United States Registry international organizations will present reports on their is in turn provided to the United Nations for inclusion practice in registering space objects and submitting the in the Register. We include on the United States required information to the United Nations Office for Registry all United States government and private Outer Space Affairs for inclusion on the Register. functional objects and certain non-functional objects, as well as launches of the Space Shuttle. The Registry Pursuant to Article III of the United Nations notes when objects are no longer in orbit. Convention on the Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space, the United Nations established a During the past several years, the United Register to record information on space objects States has been engaged in a process of upgrading the launched into Earth orbit or beyond as provided by United States national Registry of space objects so it is States. At the time, three reasons were advanced to accessible via the Internet and can be updated justify the establishment of a centralized registry: electronically, to enhance the utility of our national traffic management; safety; and identification of space Registry. Today, one is able to access the entire United objects. Over the years, the Register has served a States Registry by going to the website useful function in regard to each of these concerns. www.usspaceobjectsregistry.state.gov. Since the establishment of the Register, As part of the updating process, we also activities in space have dramatically increased and undertook to clarify the domestic criteria for including changed in nature to include increasing commercial objects on the United States Registry. This clarification activities. While the Registration Convention remains was intended to ensure that United States owners and both useful and relevant, it has become increasingly operators of space objects and non-United States evident that State and international organization entities have a clear understanding as to the practice in recording space objects on the United circumstances under which space objects are and are Nations Registry is widely divergent. not registered by the United States. Our Registry now generally includes all space objects that are owned or Last year, the United States and other operated by United States private or governmental members of this Subcommittee proposed that the entities and launched from inside or outside United Subcommittee add to its agenda new item on the States territory. In general, the United States will not practice of States and international organizations in include on its Registry non-United States payloads that registering space objects. The United States and other are launched from United States territory or facilities. member States stated their view that the Legal It is our view that such non-United States payloads Subcommittee could play a useful role in promoting should be included on the Registry of the State of the adherence to the Registration Convention with respect payload’s owner/operator because that State is best to the registration of space objects. We and others positioned to exercise continuing supervision. In proposed, and the Subcommittee adopted, a multi-year addition, we will continue our practice of including work plan under which the Subcommittee would certain non-functional objects on the Registry. examine State and international organization practice under the United Nations Convention on the Regarding our practice in registering space Registration of Space Objects with the view to objects that are owned or operated by United States identifying common elements. We are now in the first private entities and launched from United States year of this work plan and our agenda calls for Member territory of a United States space object, we note, of States and international organizations to report on their course, that such registration does not affect the rights practice and registering space objects and submitting or obligations of the United States and the the information to the Office for Outer Space Affairs. corresponding government under the Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space In respect to the United States, over the years Objects or under the Outer Space Treaty. We note that we have taken several steps towards implementation of the Report of the recent United Nations Workshop on the Registration Convention. First, in accordance with Space Law in the Republic of Korea confirmed this Article II of the Convention, the United States conclusion. Paragraph 43 of that report states “the established a national registry and notified the United Workshop noted that a State’s liability did not depend Nations Secretary-General in a note verbale dated 9 on whether or not that State registered a space object in February 1977. That Registry is located and accordance with the provisions of the Registration maintained by the Office of Space and Advanced Convention”. Technology in the United States Department of State. When the Department of State is notified by a the launching of which were promoted by my country. United States non-governmental entity that it will be Moreover, Spain has complied with its obligations launching a space object from non-United States reflected in the Convention to adopt the necessary territory, the United States notifies, through diplomatic internal measures to fully implement the Convention, channels, the corresponding government that: the particularly with regard to the establishment of a United States has been advised that such a launch will national registry of objects launched into outer space. take place; secondly, as this space object is owned or controlled by a United States private entity and The National Spanish Registry was created by launched from outside the territory of the United way of Royal Decree on 24 February and published in States, the United States Department of State will the Official Legislation of the State as number 278/95 include the space on the United States Registry once it of 9 March 1995. In keeping with Article 2 of the has been launched into Earth orbit; third, registration of Royal Decree, the registration is under the Deputy the space object shall not affect the rights or Director-General of Economic Multilateral Affairs and obligations of the United States and the corresponding Air, Maritime and Land Cooperation in keeping with government under the Convention on International Article 3 of the Royal Decree and provides access to Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects or the information contained in the Spanish Registry under the Outer Space Treaty. which is completely open and free. In cases where two or more governments In keeping with Article 5 of the Royal Decree, jointly launch one or more space objects, specific the following should be registered: space objects that provisions on registration are provided for in the have been launched from Spain or from Spanish cooperation agreement. facilities; or those that have been promoted by the Spanish State. In the case of the five satellites included Mr. Chairman, it is my hope that this on this list, they were all in the second case, that is, information regarding United States practice in launches promoted by Spain except the last case which registering space objects will prove useful in furthering is Minisat 01 which, in addition to being a launching our work and promoting adherence to the Registration promoted by Spain, was launched from Spanish Convention. I look forward to hearing other views on airspace. this topic. Thank you. In keeping with Article 5 of the Royal Decree The CHAIRMAN: I thank you very much in the event that, in addition to Spain, there are one or for that informative statement on the United States more States involved with regard to the State or States practice in registering space objects. of launching in order to register the object, in keeping with that established in Article II, paragraph 2, of the I have now on my list the distinguished Convention on the Registry of Objects Launched into representative of Spain. Spain, you have the floor. Outer Space of 12 November 1974, we are adhering to that as well. Mr. J. F. BARRERA LÓPEZ (Spain) (interpretation from Spanish): Thank you Mr. And in keeping with Article 6 of the Royal Chairman. My delegation would like to start off by Decree of the register of each space object should thanking the delegations last March and would like to contain the following data: the name of the State or discuss Spain’s participation. Solidarity and States launching; appropriate designation of the space international cooperation are no doubt vital for object and its registry number; the territory and place combating the issues of these days. of launching and date; and the following parameters for the orbit, nodes, inclination, apogee and perigee; and And now, Mr. Chairman, I would like to make the general function of the space object and purpose Spain’s statement with regard to registry of space thereof. objects. In keeping with the Royal Decree, Article 7, Spain adhered on 20 December 1978 to the the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Spain will promote Convention on the Registration of Space Objects formal communications of all data received to the Launched into Space, adopted by the General Secretary-General of the United Nations for inclusion Assembly of the United Nations by way of resolution in the Registry in this Organization. Article 7 also 3235 (XXIX) of 12 December 1974. establishes that communications regarding or reflecting this article will include modifications made to the data In keeping with this Convention, Spain has relative to space objects that are registered, especially since that time been punctually notifying the Secretary- any space object which is no longer in orbit around the General of the United Nations of the five space objects, Earth. These changes should be also reflected in the them to develop harmonization and unification of Registry of the Spanish Registry. Thank you. domestic legislation in this area of space activities. We think that we should pursue this work. Thank you Sir. The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Spanish): Thank you to the distinguished delegate of The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Spain for Spanish practices and the report thereof with French): Thank you to the distinguished representative regard to registry of space objects. of Greece. I am sure that the issues that you have raised will be discussed as very relevant in the context (Continued in English) Are there any other of this item on the agenda. delegations wishing to take the floor? Greece? Greece, you have the floor. (Continued in English) Are there any other delegations wishing to take the floor on this agenda Mr. V. CASSAPOGLOU (Greece) item at this morning’s session? (interpretation from French): Thank you Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, first I would like to express I see none. our congratulations and gratitude to the Office for Outer Space Affairs for all the work done in bringing Distinguished delegates, I will now adjourn us this presentation that was just made. Truly, this this meeting of the Subcommittee for the first meeting presentation was very useful. of the Working Group on Agenda Item 10, Draft Protocol on Matters Specific to Space Assets, I have two questions to put to the Office. I following which the Working Group established by the think they are important matters and they are directly Committee to prepare a report on the implementation related to the future of our work on this item of the of the recommendations of UNISPACE III for agenda, that is, should we maintain this item on our submission to the General Assembly will continue with agenda on a permanent basis? informal consultations. First, there is a matter that needs to be Before adjourning, I would like to inform examined in the future with regard to space objects, delegates of our schedule of work this afternoon. We particularly satellites, that are not registered and which will reconvene here at 3.00 p.m. At that time we will are not so well-known. I do not want to call them continue consideration of agenda item 10, Draft pirate satellites but very recently there were problems, Protocol on Matters Specific to Space Assets, agenda significant technical problems, particularly with regard item 11, Contributions by the Legal Subcommittee to to the electro-magnetic coordination. When a satellite the Committee Report on the Recommendations of takes up a slot of the International Telecommunication UNISPACE III, and agenda item 12, Practice in Union but without having notified any one of the space Registering Space Objects. We will also begin occupied or the frequency associated with it, it can consideration of agenda item 13, Proposals to the create problems. We recently had problems with an Committee on New Agenda Items. unknown satellite from a British factory that was around our orbital position, I think around 40 degrees Following the Subcommittee plenary, the to the East on the geo-orbit, and it creates problems for Working Group on Agenda Item 10, Draft Protocol on the proper working of our own satellite. There are also Matters Specific to Space Assets, will hold its second implications for other satellites, such as those from meeting, and the Working Group established by the Turkey and Pakistan, Russian satellites, INTELSAT, Committee to prepare a report on the implementation all operating in this very small area of the of the recommendations of UNISPACE III for geostationary orbit. So perhaps at some point in time, submission to the General Assembly will continue with we might want to examine this issue and establish informal consultations. some kind of international recognition for space objects, beyond registration so that we can at least Are there any questions or comments on this know what it is. Furthermore, this is a problem that is proposed schedule? also very tied to space debris and we truly appreciate all countries who announce space objects which are not I see none. working or non-operation in order to protect outer space from debris and other associated problems. It is so decided. Secondly, I think that the purpose of this I am now pleased to give the floor to the Working Group is of great usefulness because it can Chairman of the Working Group on Agenda Item 10, help countries to establish national legislation to Draft Protocol on Matters Specific to Space Assets, for govern appropriate space activities and it could help the Working Group’s first meeting. I welcome Professor Kopal as Chair of this Working Group. This meeting is now adjourned until 3.00 p.m. this afternoon. The meeting closed at12.15 p.m.