26th Plenary Meeting of General Assembly 73rd Session

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26-Oct-2018 00:52:27
General Assembly adopts resolution encouraging stronger international cooperation for peacefully using outer space to drive sustainable development at 26th plenary meeting.

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The General Assembly today adopted a resolution encouraging stronger international cooperation in peacefully using outer space to address long-term sustainable development concerns, taking into account the particular needs of developing countries.

By the terms of the text titled “Fiftieth anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space: space as a driver of sustainable development”, the Assembly emphasized the need to take further coordinated action to ensure that space science and technology and their applications serve the goals of sustainable development and the betterment of mankind.

The Assembly encouraged Member States to actively conduct bilateral, multilateral, regional and broader international space cooperation, including through capacity-building, information-sharing and the development of joint projects.

The Assembly invited the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to continue to develop — based on the results of the UNISPACE+50 process held in June — a “Space2030” agenda and implementation plan, and acknowledged the importance of global partnership among Member States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, industry and private sector entities in fulfilling the agenda.

The Assembly also encouraged Member States that have not done so to consider becoming members of the Committee and expressed its conviction that the Committee and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs should continue to coordinate efforts to strengthen implementation of United Nations treaties and principles on outer space. The Assembly urged the Secretary-General to consider the sufficiency of resources provided to the Office in its role as secretariat to the Committee and its subcommittees.

Mexico’s delegate, introducing the draft resolution prior to its adoption, called on the space community to work together to achieve objectives that will benefit all, including developing countries. She underscored the important role of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Paris Agreement on climate change in ensuring the fair and equal use of outer space.

“The exploration of outer space must benefit all of humanity,” Paraguay’s delegate stressed, calling for adequate resourcing of the Office for Outer Space Affairs so it can help build the scientific and technological capacities of developing States.

The representative of the United Arab Emirates said young people can help develop new technologies and opportunities linked to outer space. Training programmes are vital, she stressed, calling on the international community to boost investment in such initiatives.

Canada’s representative shared how space activities have benefited communities in northern Canada, adding: “Space-based Earth observation data has proven to be instrumental in providing reliable information on the conditions of the Arctic.” She urged States to continue to share expertise and work together.

The representative of the Russian Federation said that Moscow places great importance on the development of scientific cooperation and joint work in outer space, emphasizing that the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space can serve as platform for the exchange of ideas on outer space-related activities.

The delegate from the United States recalled that his country’s space programme was born at the height of the cold war amid fears of a superpower “space race”. Fortunately, these fears abated, in no small part because of information collected and conveyed by satellites.

Iran’s delegate said the United States’ intentions to create a new military force for outer space is extremely alarming and could increase the possibility of an arms race in outer space. Existing regulations for orbital slots allocation, based on a “first come, first served” regime, have already restricted the capacity of many developing countries, he said. Orbital slots are occupied mostly by developed countries, depriving their developing counterparts of useful satellite services.

The General Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m. on Monday, 29 October, to consider the Secretary-General’s reports on the International Criminal Court.
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2288016
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2288802