Statement by Ambassador Amjad Hussain B Sial, Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan in the Special Political and Decolonization Committee on “International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space”

Madam Chairman,

The report of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) on its fifty-third session, contained in document A/65/20, gives a comprehensive review of the activities of the Committee. We appreciate the work done by the UN COPOUS, pursuant to the comprehensive framework of policies and guidelines, contained in the annual resolution of the General Assembly.

The UN COUPOUS and its two Sub-Committees are a central focal point for the UN Member States to seek avenues for enhancing international cooperation for peaceful uses of outer space. In this context, useful progress was achieved during the 47th Session of Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee and 49th Session of the Legal Sub-Committee.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan believes that the UN COPUOS has an important role in maximizing the benefits of space capabilities in the service of humanity; particularly in the fields of environment, health and disaster mitigation. We, therefore, found the panel discussion on 12 October 2010 in our Committee on “Space and Emergencies”, as relevant to our needs.

Pakistan attaches great importance to space-based emergency communication and disaster management support. The earthquake of 2005 and recent floods in Pakistan underline the need for greater and more efficient role of space technology in prediction and monitoring of natural disasters.

The UN COPUOS also has an important role in ensuring that the benefits from space-science technology also reach the developing countries. The developed countries, however, must have the political will and right priority to engage the developing countries in this field. This engagement should entail sharing of experiences, technology transfer, and non-discriminatory, affordable and timely access to relevant data.

Pakistan supports the call for rational and equitable access for all States to the geostationary orbit.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan has made steady progress in the application of space sciences and technology in various fields. Our lead agency, in this field is Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO).

SUPARCO applies space sciences in projects and programmes ranging from education to telemedicine, agriculture, irrigation, monitoring of watercourses and floods, natural resource management, satellite meteorology, and environmental surveying.

SUPARCO operates a network of three vertical iono-spheric sounders and two geo-magnetic observatories in Pakistan. The acquired data is being shared with the World Data Center for cooperative projects in studies related to upper atmosphere and climate.

SUPARCO has been conducting Research & Development and operational applications in remote sensing and GIS, to support socio-economic projects. It has initiated a programme of monitoring the brick-lining project of major canals and water-ways in Pakistan with a view to preventing water-loss through seepage. The system involves mapping of irrigation network up to water-level courses through “Quad s approach”, derived from four technologies i.e. SRS, GIS, GPS and GSM.

As a participant of COSPAS-SARSAT Programme since 1990, we have recently upgraded the ground segment of Pakistan Mission Control Center (PAMCC) and Pakistan Local User Terminal (PALUT), to gather data for rescue and search operations.

To cater for its growing communications and media sectors, Pakistan’s communication satellite, PAKSAT-1, is now planned to be replaced in 2011 with Paksat-1R. The project will not only augment the existing telecommunication infrastructure of the country, but also help greatly in promoting the use of satellite communications particularly for socio-economic development.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan is a State Party to the five core United Nations treaties on outer space.

Mr. Chairman,

As a common heritage of mankind, Space should remain free of inclusion in any military doctrine. Any military-related application of space will limit the scope and progress on peaceful uses of outer space and jeopardize our security. There is a need for confidence building and greater transparency in space activities undertaken by various States. Negotiations of a comprehensive convention would contribute to this end.

While the question of prevention of arms race in outer space should continue to be considered at the Conference on Disarmament (CD), in our view, the work of COPUOS is also closely related. We, therefore, believe that the CD and the COPUOS should have a working relationship and open channel of communication between them.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan remains deeply committed to objectives of the UN COPUOS and will contribute actively in its work. We are also ready to share our experience and expertise in peaceful uses of outer space.

Thank you