Statement of the Ukrainian Delegation at the Fourth Committee debates on the International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space
22 October 2014 17:47

Mr. Chairman,

The UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space constitutes the unique platform at the global level for international cooperation in space explorations and plays a major role in shaping international standards for space activities. We recognize the extraordinary achievements made over the past more than fifty years in human space flight and space exploration for peaceful purposes. It is necessary to strengthen further strategic role of the Committee and to seek a holistic approach for enhancing coordination between Member States and the United Nations system in applying space science and technology to meet the challenges to development of all countries.

Regional and interregional cooperation and coordination in the field of space activities is essential to assist states in the development of their space capabilities and contributes to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Through its work in the scientific, technical and legal fields, as well as through the promotion of international dialogue and the exchange of information on various topics related to the exploration and use of outer space, the Committee has a fundamental role to play in ensuring that outer space is maintained for peaceful purposes.

Promotion of greater transparency in space activities, information-sharing among states and compliance with provisions of international space law are needed to secure the peaceful nature of space activities. All states, in particular those with major space capabilities, should contribute actively to the goal of preventing an arms race in outer space as an essential condition for the promotion and strengthening international cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes. We support the widest possible adherence to international treaties that promote the peaceful uses of outer space.

Mr. Chairman,

A significant amount of work has been done to implement the recommendations of UNISPACE III conference. A comprehensive assessment by the Committee of the implementation of the recommendations of UNISPACE III is timely. We believe that the Committee should discuss also the possibility of holding the next United Nations conference on the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space.

Ukraine calls upon all Member States to enhance international coordination and cooperation at the global level in disaster management and emergency response through greater access to and use of space based services for all countries and facilitating capacity building and institutional strengthening for disaster management. Ukraine notes with satisfaction the progress made within the framework of the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) and encourages Member States to provide the programme with the necessary additional resources to ensure that greater support may be provided to Member States by UN-SPIDER and its regional support offices.

We believe that the space based observations should be used more in support of mitigation and adaptation measures related to climate change. The spin-offs of space technology constitute a powerful engine for technological innovation and growth in both the industrial and service sectors and can be beneficially applied to achieve social and humanitarian objectives, the development of a national communications infrastructure and other projects aimed at achieving the goal of sustainable development. Ukraine fully supports the United Nations Programme on Space Applications for 2015 endorsed by the COPUOS.

Mr. Chairman,

Increasing density of space debris, in particular in low-Earth orbits, threatens access to and the use of outer space in both short and long terms. Ukraine notes with appreciation that some states are already implementing space debris mitigation measures through national mechanisms and consistent with the COPUOS Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines endorsed by the UN General Assembly. We consider it is essential that states pay more attention to the problem of collisions of space objects, including those with nuclear power sources, and call for the continuation of national research on this question for the development of improved technology for the monitoring of space debris and for the compilation and dissemination of data on space debris. We believe that the information thereon should be also provided to the COPUOS Scientific and Technical Subcommittee. An increased international cooperation is needed to expand appropriate and affordable strategies to minimize the impact of space debris on future space missions.

Mr. Chairman,

To widen and strengthen the current legal basis for space activities we need to increase the number of states and international intergovernmental organizations adhering to the United Nations treaties on outer space. We urge states that have not yet become parties to the international treatiesgoverning the uses of outer space to give consideration to ratifying or acceding tothose treaties as well as incorporating theminto their national legislation. At the same time the provisions of contemporary international space law have to be further improved in order to effectively respond to current challenges. Considering the constant growth in the conduct of space activities, a new, single and comprehensive convention on space law is desirable to further strengthen the international legal regime governing space activities. Ukraine welcomes the discussion on the current state of international space law and possible options for its future development. We would also like to point out that sharing of information on national space legislation can help states to identify common principles and procedures that can facilitate the consensus on the direction of the development of international space law.

Mr. Chairman,

Earth observation satellite data continues to play an important role in supporting states activities in a number of key areas. Therefore it is important to provide non-discriminatory access to remote sensing data and to derive information at a reasonable cost and in a timely manner. We call for further international cooperation among Member States in the use of remote sensing satellites, in particular by sharing experiences and technologies through bilateral, regional and international collaborative projects. The concept of data democracy is vital for building states' capacities.

We note with appreciation the continuous progress made by the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems towards achieving compatibility and interoperability among global and regional space based positioning, navigation and timing systems and in the promotion of the use of global navigation satellite systems and their integration into national infrastructure.

In broader context of discussion on space activities we believe that the exploitation of the geostationary orbit should be rationalized and access to it should be made available to all states, irrespective of their current technical capabilities. The item on the geostationary orbit should remain on the agenda of the COPUOS Scientific and Technical Subcommittee for further discussion with the purpose of continuing to analyze its scientific and technical characteristics.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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