Statement delivered during the briefing by the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
Dear Director Di Pippo,
Thank you for convening this meeting and for bringing to our attention the UN Secretary-General’s Report “Our Common Agenda” that was mandated by the UN-75 Political Declaration last September.
It is most welcome that awareness is raised in all UN capitals about the Agenda and its suggestions that are relevant to multilateral work also in Vienna. The EU would like to encourage also other Vienna-based organisations to arrange briefings on their issues on the Agenda in order to ensure an early involvement of UN Member States, observers and all other stakeholders.
The European Union and its Member States welcome that outer space issues which concern Vienna feature so prominently on the UNSG’s Agenda. The report explicitly mentions the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) as a good example that progress in multilateral fora is possible. It highlights the 21 Guidelines for the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities, which the EU strongly supports. We welcome the establishment of the Working Group on the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities and take this opportunity to encourage an early agreement on its mandate, terms of reference and methods of work. The sooner we are able to advance with concrete implementation of the 21 Guidelines, enhance capacity-building, and start substantive discussions on emerging challenges, the better we will contribute to the UNSG’s call for action-oriented follow-up. The adoption by COPUOS of the Space2030 Agenda and Implementation Plan was another important achievement to build on.
We take note of SG’s proposals for further space governance, notably in the area of space traffic management. The EU and its Member States continue to work actively in this area. Through the EU Space Surveillance and Tracking (EUSST) programme, the EU and its Member States provide spacecraft collision avoidance, re-entry and fragmentation services by operating and developing Space Surveillance and Tracking capabilities. Following the new EU Space Programme, these services will be accessible to non-EU countries. Finally, further activities, such as space debris removal and space debris mitigation, are envisaged in order to support safe access and return from outer space and in-orbit operations.
The EU stands ready to continue dialogue with you to maintain the momentum and ambition set by the UNSG’s report and advance COPUOS’ work and encourages UNOOSA to actively contribute to the preparation of the “Summit of the Future”.
As a firm believer in multilateralism, with the UN at its core, the EU will continue to support COPUOS and its Subcommittees as unique platforms for international cooperation in space, including for development of international space law, international norms and standards, international guidelines, best practices, transparency and confidence building measures.
Thank you for your attention.