Statement by Ms. Saima Sayed, Counsellor Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations in the Special Political and Decolonization (4th) Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space New York, (20 October 2015)

Mr. Chairman,

The report of the Committee on the peaceful uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) on its 58th Session, contained in the document A/70/20, gives a comprehensive review of the activities of the Committee. We would like to extend our appreciation for the work done by the UN COPUOS ably led by its chair,

The UNCOPUOS and its two sub-committees are the central focal point for the UN member States to seek avenues for enhancing international cooperation for peaceful uses of outer space.

Mr. Chairman,

Space technologies have evolved dramatically and outer space activities have transcended from being mere technology demonstration to pragmatic applications for national security and socioeconomic uplift of the masses. Today’s space industry is characterized by regional and international cooperation in areas space sciences, technology and scientific training programs.

The Government of Pakistan is working for developing the latest technology for geospatial applications. These include the development of National Positioning Platform, Technology and application Development and monitoring of Signals using the Global Navigation Satellite System Technology.

Pakistan has formulated a program entitled “Pakistan National Student Satellite Program (PNSSP)”. This program comprises of series of satellites which will be designed and developed by students of Pakistan. 24 national universities are actively involved for the design and development of this project.

The national Space agency of Pakistan SUPARCO is organizing its biennial event, “International Conference on Space” in collaboration with leading Universities of Pakistan such as Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad, Lahore university of Management Sciences, Government College Lahore and University of Engineering and technology in September 2016. Inter-Islamic Network on Space Sciences and Technology (ISNET) will cosponsor the event. This conference aims to bring together space professionals, researchers, scientists and students of space sciences to focus on how space derived techniques can be used to positively impact developmental issues such as natural resource management, urban and rural planning and development, provision of health services and education, sustainable agriculture, environmental monitoring, disaster risk assessment, management and mitigation and reliable telecommunication services.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan believes that it is our collective responsibility to keep the outer space safe and secure and sustainable for catering to the needs of the future generations and therefore supports the long term sustainability of space activities. Pakistan is participating in the Working Group on “Long term sustainability of Outer Space activities” and would like to express our appreciation for the Chairman of this Group, Mr. Peter Martinez.

Pakistan has participated in the open ended consultations and formal negotiations on International Code of Conduct (ICoC) for Outer Space Activities. While we support such initiatives, we believe that these should be pursued in an inclusive, universal and participatory manner under the auspices of the United Nations and taking into account the interest of the States.

Pakistan participates in the proceeding of the working group on the use of Nuclear Power Source (NPS) in outer space. Pakistan recognizes the need for NPS application for interplanetary space missions and deep space explorations.

Mr. Chairman,

we would like to highlight an important issue of space debris mitigation. Pakistan supports all instruments for the attainment of this goal. However we would like to point out that emerging space-faring nations which mostly include the developing countries do not possess the requisite financial and technological resources to comply with the UNCOPUOS Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines in totality. Since it is an important matter, some thought must be given as to how these countries can be assisted in this regard. Moreover, research, best practices, technologies and early warning information in this area should be available to all stakeholders. Otherwise the peril of space debris will continue to loom over us and our future generations and hamper the harnessing of the possible positive gains from outer space

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan consistently opposes militarization and weaponization of outer space and any consequent arms race in outer space. We believe that such installation of weapons in space poses a grave threat for the future of this world and the human race inhabiting this earth. Not only that, but such installations also pose a great threat the future of space operations and will impede our progress towards achieving long term sustainability of outer space activities.

Pakistan is a State Party to the five core United Nations treaties on outer space and is committed to the peaceful uses of outer space. There is a need to provide more training and capacity building facilities for developing countries in the field of peaceful uses of outer space. We believe that the benefits of outer space activities and technologies must be made available to all and used for the benefit of all mankind.

Thank you.