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Statement at UNISPACE+50, 2018, Vienna

Speech

UNISPACE+50 High Level Segment


Statement by Thomas Jarzombek, Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy on behalf of the German Delegation (20/21 June 2018)


Madam President / Madam Chair,

The German delegation congratulates you on your election. We are confident that under your guidance the UNISPACE+50 High Level Segment of COPUOS will become a milestone in setting the future course of global space cooperation for the benefit of humankind.

50 years after “UNISPACE I” the peaceful cooperation in outer space activities has come a long way. We witnessed a paradigm shift within space:

Once a symbol of the technology race and a contest between opposing systems, it is now, in every sense, a part of our everyday lives and an essential instrument for the achievement of the global development goals.

Germany’s space strategy recognizes space as a means to an end. All of our space projects are measured according to their contribution to achieving social, economic and scientific objectives.

  • Earth observation satellites produce environmental monitoring data essential for the preservation of natural resources and the adaptation to changes in our planet including the consequences of climate change or natural disasters.
  • Satellite navigation systems provide accurate positioning and timing information used in many areas of private, commercial and public life.
  • And as we speak, Alexander Gerst might be conducting one of two hundred experiments of the Horizons Mission on board of the ISS, advancing human medicine, biology, physics and other sciences.

All these examples underline why Germany’s space strategy is oriented towards benefits and needs, the principle of sustainability and intensified international cooperation.

Madam President / Madam Chair, distinguished delegates,

As space is a key to solving global challenges, Germany is committed to preserving outer space as a global common and shaping the future global governance of outer space activities. We are invested in building a reliable international framework for the safety, security and sustainability of outer space activities. COPUOS is the primary and unique forum to foster consensus on many pressing topics.

Since becoming a member State of the United Nations in 1973, Germany has been a member of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and has substantially contributed to its work. Germany has continuously supported the UN Programme on Space Applications and in particular its UN-SPIDER-Programme. Under German chairmanships, the Legal Subcommittee and the Working Group on the Status and Application of the five UN Treaties on Outer Space continued to develop the international legal framework for outer space activities.

Germany regards the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space as the unique global forum for international space cooperation and information exchange, the development of international space law and the promotion of equal access to the benefits of space applications.

Madam President / Madam Chair, distinguished delegates,

One of the main achievements of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its subcommittees has been the creation of a number of multilateral treaties which form the basis of international space governance. However, the changes which have occurred in the international space arena in the last years, especially the growing importance of the private sector, pose new challenges. The international community has to adapt to these changes and develop the appropriate international regulatory frameworks.

Therefore, Germany is pleased that Guidelines for the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities have been adopted by the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee. We are convinced that these guidelines will contribute to setting the future course of global space cooperation for the benefit of humankind.

This, of course, does not mean that the discussion about the long-term sustainability of outer space activities is completed. COPUOS needs to discuss and further develop the LTS Guidelines on an on-going basis in order to ensure their actuality and suitability.

Madam President / Madam Chair, distinguished delegates,

Our shared goal here at UNISPACE+50 is to build, together will all stakeholders, a comprehensive “Space2030” agenda. Space technology offers great opportunities also for the work of the United Nations system itself. UNISPACE+50 should give a new impetus in that direction and give guidance on how to strengthen international cooperation and foster innovative partnerships with civil society and private actors for the peaceful use of outer space and the global governance of outer space activities.

Germany is committed to the development of the Space2030 agenda and its implementation plan as the way forward regarding the sustainable use of outer space and utilizing space activities for sustainable development.

Madam President / Madam Chair, distinguished delegates,

The series of High-Level Fora on Space as a Driver for Socioeconomic Development demonstrates the intention of the international community to address global challenges together through cooperation and collaboration.

Germany is going to host the first High-Level Forum after UNISPACE+50 held in Bonn from 13th to 16th November 2018. We invite you 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.

Madam President / Madam Chair, distinguished delegates,

We firmly believe that preserving and enhancing the global governance of outer space activities based on the Outer Space Treaty, with the United Nations at its heart, is the best way to ensure the long-term sustainability of outer space activities for the benefit of humankind.

That is why Germany strongly supports Director Simonetta Di Pippo in her efforts to optimize the work of the Office of Outer Space Affairs and ascertaining the necessary resources for fulfilling its mandate.

We recognize that a growing number of space activities results in additional workload for the office under its current mandate.

That is why we have responded to the director’s call for voluntary contributions and will continue to support the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs.

Madam President / Madam Chair, distinguished delegates,

Space applications will continue to contribute to human development and welfare in the decades to come. Well beyond the end of this conference, its motto – setting a future course of global space cooperation for the benefit of humankind – will remain a challenge. German space policy, science and industry are ready to make a considerable contribution towards the achievement of that goal.

Thank you.

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