Statement at the 64th session of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS)
64th Session, Vienna, 25 August – 3 September 2021
Agenda Item 4: General Exchange of Views
Statement by Germany
Honorable Mr. Chairman,
On behalf of the German delegation let me congratulate you on your election and assure you of our full support. We would also like to express our gratitude to Mr. André Rypl for his guidance throughout the last session in 2019.
We also thank the Office of Outer Space Affairs led by Ms. Simonetta Di Pippo for fulfilling its outstanding work in preparation of this year’s meetings under still unprecedented difficult circumstances.
Mr. Chairman, distinguished Delegates,
during the Covid-19 pandemic, space technology, data and applications served as a valuable tool in areas such as healthcare, telecommunications and logistics not only within the health delivery system. Their potential contribution to the implementation of the global agendas on sustainable development, climate change and disaster management are significant and international cooperation is therefore key to bringing the benefits of space to everyone.
Germany understands that a multilateral approach is fundamental to achieving our objectives. Therefore, we consider the “Space2030” agenda and its implementation plan as essential tools. They will lay out the path for COPUOS and its two subcommittees, member states and interested stakeholders to address the issue of sustainability of outer space activities, advance the global governance of outer space activities and strengthen capacity-building and technical assistance in the field of space applications, policy and law. It is of great importance, that the Working Group finalizes its work and that COPUOS presents a consented text to the General Assembly. We are therefore looking forward to constructive discussions with a spirit of flexibility during the present session to reach the necessary consensus.
Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates,
COPUOS and its two subcommittees remain unique platforms for the development of global space governance; and the establishment of two new working groups underlines the need for further cooperation and guidance. Germany is pleased that decisions on the chairmanship of the working groups on the long-term sustainability of outer space activities and on space resources could be reached. In order to take up substantive discussions, agreement on the terms of reference as well as the work plans of the respective working groups is now of great importance. We are committed to taking an active role in the constructive exchange on these issues.
Finally, I would like to present briefly some activities in the German space program. As outlined in its space strategy, Germany sees space as a key to solving global challenges. To this end, we have placed a strong emphasis on measuring our space projects according to their contribution to social, economic and scientific objectives. I will give you some examples:
• As part of the Data4Human project German researchers are developing analysis methods and tools to provide data from satellites, aircraft, drones, ground-based sensors and web-based sources to support decision-making in crisis situations. The researchers are also working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other humanitarian aid organizations on further data analysis, such as documenting reconstruction after a disaster or the effectiveness of humanitarian aid.
• With the EO College Portal the German Aerospace Centre DLR offers together with ESA massive open online courses about remote sensing – accessible from around the world, thereby contributing to space-related education without any barriers to participation.
Germany will continue to support international efforts such as:
• UN-SPIDER, in particular via its regional office in Bonn, which -together with the University of Bonn- conducts important capacity-building activities and provides substantial information resources on disaster management. We are also glad to announce an extension of the secondment of personnel, through the Junior Professional Officers programme, to the office in Bonn. The new JPO will support the office for at least the next two years.
• We further support efforts such as the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters,
• or the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS).
Let me conclude by reiterating the importance Germany attaches to strengthening the role of this Committee and UNOOSA as a unique platform for international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space and in space activities.
We thank you for your kind attention.