Statement at 61st COPUOS session, 2018 Vienna


61st session of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), Vienna, 22-29 June 2018

Federal Republic of Germany

Item 6: General Exchange of Views

Madam Chair,

distinguished Delegates,

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. Kendall for his experienced guidance throughout the last sessions.

We also thank the Office of Outer Space Affairs led by Ms. Simonetta Di Pippo for their outstanding work. Germany sincerely appreciates the excellent preparation of this year’s special events at UNISPACE+50.

Madam Chair,

distinguished Delegates,

Germany would like to thank all delegations involved in the preparation of the UNISPACE+50 Resolution that was successfully endorsed at the High Level Segment.

The extensive discussions on the draft texts gave testimony to the commitment shared by COPUOS member states to shape the future course of global space cooperation. The spirit of cooperation prevailed and it will be our collective achievement when the UN General Assembly discusses a special agenda item “Space as a driver for sustainable development” and adopts the UNISPACE+50 resolution later this year. This will underline the important work undertaken by this committee and its unique role.

It is now essential to continue to shape the “Space2030” agenda and its implementation plan. Germany supports the establishment of a working group dedicated to this task.

Building on the outcomes of the preparatory process of UNISPACE+50 and paying due regard to the results under the seven thematic priorities, it shall enhance COPUOS’ unique role as the Center

·      of international cooperation and information exchange,

·      for the development of international space law and

·      for the promotion of equal access to the benefits of space applications.

With the Space2030 agenda, we will advance the global governance of outer space activities, promote the five UN treaties on outer space and strengthen capacity-building and technical assistance in the field of space law and policy.

It will lay out the path for COPUOS and its two subcommittees to address issues of safety, security and sustainability of outer space activities in an integrated and coherent manner. In this regard, the committee will also have to take into account the increased workload of the Office of Outer Space Affairs and act accordingly.

Madam Chair, distinguished Delegates,

Germany expresses its delight and appreciation that the Working Group on the Long Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee during its last session was able to achieve consensus on an additional set of Guidelines as well as the accompanying preambular paragraphs.

We would like to thank the Chairman of the Working Group, Mr. Peter Martinez, as well as Ms. Tanya Keusen from UNOOSA for their valuable efforts in facilitating this success and all delegations involved for their willingness to cooperate and negotiate a favorable outcome.

In order to ensure that succeeding generations can also/likewise explore and use outer space, we need to continue to work on an on-going basis on the issue of long-term sustainability of outer space.

The committee must therefore create a framework that defines the way forward and values the consensus achieved so far.


Madam Chair,

distinguished Delegates,

The UNISPACE+50 exhibition provided testimony to the extent the international community already utilizes space for development and to the benefit of many.

As outlined in its space strategy, Germany sees space as a key to solving global challenges. To this end, the Federal Government has placed a strong emphasis on measuring its space projects according to their contribution to achieving social, economic and scientific objectives. I will give you some examples.

·       Our TerraSAR-X und TanDEM-X satellites as well as the European Copernicus earth observation satellites produce environmental monitoring data essential for the preservation of natural resources and the adaptation to changes in our planet.

·       Together with the World Food Programme, and with support from the German Federal Foreign Office, DLR facilitates systematic risk mapping and early detection of critical weather and climate developments to combat global hunger.

·       EOMAP, a DLR spin-off company and leading provider of aquatic remote sensing solutions, has launched an online portal for UNESCO: Satellite data enables first worldwide mapping of water quality data from all inland and coastal waters.

·       With ICARUS, a Russian-German ISS-based project, we track small animal movements in order to develop reliable early warning systems with regard to environmental changes and natural disasters.

Madam Chair,

Distinguished Delegates,

Germany along with its partners has already demonstrated in various projects how space technologies can be utilized to address global challenges such as climate change, disaster risks and sustainable development.

Many UNISPACE+50 statements underlined that it is now time to coordinate our efforts and build innovative partnerships.

To broaden and extend the benefits of space, Germany will continue to support international efforts such as:

•                UN-SPIDER,

•                the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters,

•                or the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS).

Madam Chair,

Distinguished Delegates,

Germany is pleased to host and co-organize together with UNOOSA and the European Space Agency a High-Level Forum at the UN campus in Bonn in November 2018 to promote international cooperation on the Way Forward after UNISPACE+50 and on the Space2030 Agenda. This event will be the first opportunity to take stock of the outcomes of UNISPACE+50. We invite everyone to participate in this event that will address the use of space technologies and applications for the benefit of humankind and in support of the United Nations agendas.

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 by reassuring you of my delegation’s commitment to all efforts in the field of international cooperation in space activities.

We thank you for your kind attention.

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