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Statement on Sustainability at the 57th session of the Scientific-Technical Sub-Committee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS)

Speech

COPUOS-STSC, 57th Session, Vienna, 3 – 14 February 2020 – Germany

Item 13: Long-term sustainability of outer space activities

Madam Chair,

Distinguished Delegates,

Last year, a major breakthrough was achieved in fostering the long-term sustainability of outer space activities. We have reached agreement on 21 guidelines and the preamble as well as on a process to continue the work on LTS. Germany welcomes the endorsement of the 21 LTS guidelines and the preamble. In our view, this demonstrates the essential role of the Committee in advancing the safe and sustainable use of outer space.

However, there lies a lot of work ahead of us. We agreed to establish a new working group on LTS and will now have to work out its terms of reference. Germany is eager to contribute actively to this new working group, as preserving the long-term sustainability of outer space activities is in our most fundamental interest.

Germany contributes to this objective with the national implementation of the 21 guidelines. Strengthening the guidelines through their wide-ranging implementation will be important for enhancing the sustainable use of outer space. We also look forward to sharing the experiences in the national implementation practice.

Another pillar of the new working group is to identify and study further challenges to the long-term sustainability and to potentially develop additional guidelines. There are additional challenges that need to be addressed, such as the implications of large-scale satellite constellations or the need for enhanced communication and information exchange.

Madam Chair, Distinguished Delegates,

The new working group on LTS offers great opportunities to intensify our work to ensure a safe and sustainable space environment. Challenges lie ahead, and we are eager to address and discuss them with you.

We thank you for your kind attention.

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