Following Recorded Votes, Fourth Committee Forwards Five Draft Resolutions on Decolonization to General Assembly for Adoption

11 October 2011
GA/SPD/483

Following Recorded Votes, Fourth Committee Forwards Five Draft Resolutions on Decolonization to General Assembly for Adoption

11 October 2011
General Assembly
GA/SPD/483
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-sixth General Assembly

Fourth Committee

7th Meeting (AM)

Following Recorded Votes, Fourth Committee Forwards Five Draft Resolutions

 

on Decolonization to General Assembly for Adoption

 

Concluding its consideration of decolonization issues, the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) would have the General Assembly recommend that all States intensify their efforts to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, by one of five draft texts approved today.

That draft, which would also urge specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system that had not yet provided assistance to Non-Self-Governing Territories to do so as soon as possible, was approved by a recorded vote of 101 in favour to none against, with 51 abstentions.

The Committee also proposed, in a resolution on the dissemination of information on decolonization, that the Assembly consider it important to continue and expand its efforts to ensure the widest possible dissemination of information on decolonization, with particular emphasis on the options of self-determination available for the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories.

Also by that text, which was approved by a recorded vote of 147 in favour to 3 against (Israel, United Kingdom, United States), with 1 abstention (France), the Secretary-General would be requested to further enhance the information provided on the United Nations decolonization website and to continue to include the full series of reports of the regional seminars on decolonization, the statements and scholarly papers presented at those seminars, and links to the full series of reports of the Special Committee.

Three other drafts also required recorded votes for passage.  Those texts were on information from Non-Self-Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73e of the Charter of the United Nations — 131 in favour to none against, with 5 abstentions (France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States, United Republic of Tanzania); economic and other activities affecting the interests of those peoples — 144 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), and 2 abstentions (France, United Kingdom); and the implementation of the Decolonization Declaration — 149 in favour to 3 against (Israel, United Kingdom, United States), with 2 abstentions (Belgium, France). 

Following action on those texts, the Committee began its consideration of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.  During a panel discussion on the contribution of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) to Rio+20, various speakers underscored the importance of collaboration in the use of space tools and technology to assist the international community in dealing with such issues as sustainable development, disaster management, and others.

As part of that panel, Brazil's National Institute for Space Research Director Gilberto Camara said that it was crucial that Earth observation data be seen as “global public goods”.  Recalling Brazil’s successful attempt to monitor deforestation using space data, he stressed that full and open access to space-based observation data was indispensable to solving various sustainable development issues such as food shortages.  He said Brazil had set an important precedent by making its Earth data readily available to the international community, and he hoped that the rest of the worldwould follow suit.

Beginning the Committee’s general debate on the issue, the Chairman of the Outer Space Committee, Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu, said that space tools were indispensable in mitigating the effects of natural disasters.  The Committee’s efforts included increasing awareness and promoting capacity-building for the use of space technology in disaster management, the effects of climate change, food security, and global health.

Reflecting on the fiftieth anniversary of the first manned space flight, the representative of the United States pointed out that although the space age had begun as a struggle for security and prestige between competitors, today American astronauts, Russian cosmonauts, and spacefarers from dozens of partner nations in Europe, Asia, and North America lived and worked together on the International Space Station.

Instead of adversaries competing for primacy of the Cosmos, he said, mankind now collaborated to expand human horizons and worked together to promote peaceful cooperation in spaceflight.  Technology had freed the world from the tyranny of gravity, and the commitment to international forums such as the Outer Space Committee could free mankind “to dream of a boundless future in space, free of earthbound tyranny and mistrust”.

Also participating in the Panel Discussion was Suha Ülgen of the United Nations Office of Information and Communication Technology (OICT), and Mazlan Othman, Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.

During the panel discussion, the representative of Brazil also spoke.

Speaking during the action on drafts were the representatives of the United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Lesotho, Argentina, Bolivia, and Sweden.

The representatives of Uruguay and Israel also spoke during the general debate on outer space issues.

The Committee will meet again tomorrow, 12 October at 10 a.m to continue its consideration of the international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.

Background

At the start of the meeting, the Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) was expected to take action on the remaining draft texts relating to decolonization.

As it began its consideration of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, the Committee was also expected to hold a panel discussion on the contribution of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) to Rio+20, for which it had before it the report of the Committee (http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/66/20).

The report summarizes the outcome of its fifty-fourth session, from 1 to 10 June 2011.  During that session, the view was expressed that, in order to ensure that the benefits of outer space activities reached all States and that the results of innovations and applications of space technology were maximized, inclusive development should be given priority in the exploration and use of outer space with respect to the space environment and equal access to outer space by all States, taking into consideration the interest of humankind.

It was further expressed that the exploration and peaceful use of outer space was not of a competitive nature, setting spacefaring nations against non-spacefaring nations, but rather should be a cooperative endeavour benefiting the international community as a whole.  Outer space could be maintained for peaceful purposes through cooperation in space science and technology and exploration activities, as well as through a human presence in space.

Action on Decolonization Texts

The Committee turned first to draft resolution I, on information from Non-Self-Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73e of the Charter of the United Nations (document A/66/23).

That text was approved by a recorded vote of 131 in favour to none against, with 5 abstentions ( France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States, United Republic of Tanzania).

Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of the United Kingdom said her delegation had abstained on the draft.  She said that the United Kingdom did not take issue with the main objective of the resolution and continued to meet its obligations in that regard with its Overseas Territories.  Whether a Non-Self-Governing Territory had reached the level of self-government was ultimately for the government of the Territory and the administering Power to decide and not for the General Assembly.

Making general statements after the vote, the representatives of Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, and Lesotho said their delegations had not been able to vote, but would have voted in favour of the resolution.

Next, the Committee approved draft resolution II, on economic and other activities which affect the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories (document A/65623), by a recorded vote of 144 in favour to 2 against ( Israel, United States), with 2 abstentions ( France, United Kingdom).

Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of Argentina said the draft just approved was part of General Assembly resolution 1514 and other relevant General Assembly resolutions on decolonization.  As a result, the applicability of today’s draft for specific territories depended on a right to self-determination.  For the exercise of the right to self-determination, there needed to be an active subject; a people subjected to domination and exploitation by a foreign party.  If that subject did not exist, there was no right to self-determination.

The delegate said that the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas had been illegally occupied by the United Kingdom, which had expelled the population by force and replaced it with its own.  That meant that the right to self-determination was inapplicable to the Malvinas Islands, and the draft resolution just approved was in no way applicable to the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas.  Any General Assembly resolution on the Malvinas, especially 2065 and those following, as well as those approved today, established that, because there was a sovereignty dispute on Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, the way to end that special and particular situation was not self-determination, but a negotiated solution to the sovereignty dispute between the parties, the United Kingdom and Argentina.

The General Assembly, said the speaker, had decided that the principle of self-determination was not applicable to the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, when it rejected the British proposal that wished to include that principle for the issue.  Today’s draft resolution was in no way applicable to the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, and it should be pointed out that in resolution 31/49, the General Assembly had also asked Argentina and the United Kingdom to abstain from adopting decisions that involved the introduction of unilateral measures while the Islands were in the negotiation process recommended by the General Assembly.

Additionally, said the representative, the unilateral exploitation of renewable and non-renewable natural energy sources of Argentina in the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, was unacceptable and not in line with the United Nations resolutions.

Making a general statement after the vote, the representative of Bolivia said his delegation had not been in the room, but would have voted in favour of draft resolutions I and II.

The Committee then approved draft resolution III on implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations (document A/66/23), by a recorded vote of 101 in favour to none against, with 51 abstentions.

Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of Argentina said that, according to the text, the draft resolution should be applied in conformity with relevant United Nations decisions and resolutions, including of the General Assembly and the Special Committee on Decolonization.

The representative of the United Kingdom reaffirmed support for the specialized agencies in their efforts to assist Non-Self-Governing Territories in humanitarian and technical fields, but the statutes of those agencies needed to be protected and therefore her delegation had abstained on the resolution.

Making a general statement after the vote, the representative of Sweden said her delegation wished to abstain on the resolution.

The Committee next approved draft resolution VII on dissemination of information on decolonization (document A/66/23) by a recorded vote of 147 in favour to 3 against (Israel, United Kingdom, United States) with 1 abstention (France).

Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of the United Kingdom said her delegation had voted against the text, as it put a drain on the secretariat’s scarce resources, which was unacceptable.

Also speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of Argentina expressed firm support for self-determination when a population was subjected to colonial occupation.  Without detriment to that, the approved text should be applied in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Fourth Committee.  All pronouncements of the General Assembly and the Committee on the Malvinas had qualified it as a special colonial situation involving a sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, between Argentina and the United Kingdom as the only parties.  The way to solve that dispute was by reconvening bilateral relations so there was a fair, peaceful and definitive solution as soon as possible that took into account the interests of the people of the Territories.

Next, the Committee approved draft resolution VIII on the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (document A/66/23) by a recorded vote of 149 in favour to 3 against (Israel, United Kingdom, United States), with 2 abstentions (Belgium, France).

Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of Argentina said that regarding operative paragraph seven of the resolution, he recalled that visiting missions were only applicable when self-determination was applicable, meaning territories in which there was no sovereignty dispute.  For a mission to take place, there should be approval by the General Assembly.

Also speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, the United Kingdom’s representative said her delegation had voted against the text, as some elements of it remained unacceptable.  Despite that vote, the United Kingdom remained committed to modernizing the relationships with its Overseas Territories, taking into account the views of the people.

Panel Discussion

DUMITRU-DORIN PRUNARIU, Chair, Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, said that the theme of the present panel discussion was the contribution of the Committee to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.  The current panel would take into account the panel discussions held since 2007 on the topics of climate change, food security, global health, and emergencies.  The contribution of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space was contained in the document A/AC.105/993.

The report, he stated, focused on space-derived geospatial data, which provided indispensable tools for a wide range of areas where there were challenges to sustainable development.  The Committee and its secretariat had continuously made efforts to increase awareness and promote capacity-building in the use of space science and technology applications in many critical areas of concern to all humanity.  Space tools were multifaceted and they strongly supported the implementation of actions called for at the global level.  The Committee also looked more closely at the Rio+20 Conference to be held next year and the role played by space technology applications for sustainable development.

In 2007, he recalled, the panel discussion had looked into “space tools and solutions for climate change” and had concluded that space-based technology and observation was an important complement to airborne and surface-based observations in the development of global climate-model simulations, taking into account a wide range of space-based and terrestrial data.

The 2008 panel discussion had focused on the topic of “space applications and food security”, he said.  A combination of remote sensing data with land-based information provided a wide range of outputs that could help in decision-making processes around the world to curb the increasing food insecurity.

The 2009 discussion took on “space for global health – space technology and pandemics”, he said.  Disease management required data from multiple platforms where space-based technology, and sea-based and land-based systems were applied.  An important factor was the use of space-based data to help scientists predict high-risk areas prior to an outbreak, while integrated data from Earth-observing meteorological and navigational satellites could track environmental changes.

The 2010 panel discussion focused on “space and emergencies”, he said.  The United Nations crisis information management strategy was exemplified as adopting an integrated approach to overall crisis information capabilities, and the UN-SPIDER (United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response)network had been mentioned as an important mechanism to bring together space- and disaster-management communities.

He said that what was clear from that series of panels was the increasing need to address the major challenges in a holistic manner and recognize that space-based technology, together with terrestrial data, provided a common set of tools of increasing importance to decision-makers.  Space exploration and advances in space science were fundamental pillars for the operational use of space technology.  To adapt to emerging and future challenges, the United Nations system should look more closely into how advanced space research and exploration systems and technologies could further contribute to meeting challenges, support regional and inter-regional cooperation in the field of space activities, and ensure closer coordination between the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and other intergovernmental bodies involved in the global development agenda.

KENNETH HODGKINS (United States), Advisor to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, focused his statement on milestones achieved through that body’s work, which this year celebrated its fiftieth anniversary.  The Committee, he said, had been very successful in terms of promoting international cooperation in space and in terms of sharing benefits of space exploration with a large number of nations.  In particular, he stressed the importance of remote sensing activities in a sustainable development perspective.  The Outer Space Committee defended the idea that those activities should be developed in the interests of all countries, and encouraged States with remote sensing systems to provide for the collection and sharing of data.  Those principles were widely respected, which helped to establish an international framework for researchers to acquire spatial data from satellite systems without discrimination.

He also stressed the importance of space cooperation between States.  That cooperation, he said, took place at two levels, among the States with space systems, with a focus on technology sharing, and in terms of United Nations assistance to States without such systems, to enable them to exploit the data.

Thus, since 2001, an action group of the Outer Space Committee had been asked to address the issue of promotion of GNSS (global navigation satellite system), Inertial, and Multisensor Integrated Navigation Systems for sustainable development.  In addition, a working group of the Outer Space Committee had been set up on the long-term sustainability of space systems, because the space environment must be managed to remain available for future generations.  That group was tasked with developing minimum standards to protect the space environment.  "We have a shared responsibility to ensure sustainable development, and space technology can play a role in this area," he concluded.

GILBERTO CAMARA, Director of Brazil's National Institute for Space Research, speaking on behalf of the Brazilian Government and Brazilian scientists, said the enormous challenge of sustainable development was coupled with food production challenges.  In many areas of the world, 30 per cent of children between the ages of two and five were underweight.  Statistics from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) on meat consumption in kilograms per year since 1961 reflected a growing trend worldwide and markedly in developing countries.  That pattern placed increasing pressure on the areas of uncultivated land that were good for food cultivation.  Looking globally, those areas included sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean.  That situation, in turn, resulted in substantial tension in land conversion, since the areas ripe for increased food production corresponded with the last remnants of the world’s tropical forests, home to immense holdings of carbon and biodiversity.  Conflict was certain, therefore, between the protection of the environment and the need to produce more food.  In order to deal with that problem, not only was Earth observation data necessary, but it was crucial that such data be seen as “global public goods”.  Full and open access to space-based observation data was indispensable to sustainable development.

He said that Brazil had set an important precedent by making its Earth data readily available to the rest of the world, and he hoped that the rest of the worldwould follow suit.  In 2004, Brazil had faced a deforestation crisis; 27,000 square kilometres of forests had been destroyed that year, causing well-deserved public outrage.  Recognizing that deforestation information required a completely different system from mapping, Brazil had used Earth observation data to put daily deforestation information online.  As a result, it had become easier for the police, the press, and various non-governmental organizations to monitor those responsible for the deforestation.  Now, deforestation was at its lowest level since 1988.  At the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, the Brazilian Government had offered that by 2020, Brazil would reduce deforestation by 80 per cent, relative to 2005.

Using that example, the speaker proposed that it was necessary to start a new convention on the public availability of environmental information.  Complete transparency of Earth-based data was crucial to dealing with various sustainable development issues, he said.

SUHA ÜLGEN, of the United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT), gave an overview of what United Nations bodies were doing to make sure that the information they were collecting, in participation with Member States, was shared as effectively as possible.

He said the geospatial community saw the world in terms of two sets of data, as well as a series of thematic material called “society benefit areas”.  However, separate databases were being developed at considerable cost.  One idea, therefore, was to pool those resources in order to build a common data structure.  The key was to work smarter, not harder.  The OICT had been mandated to harmonize communications and information technology practices throughout the United Nations system through a “system-wide harmonization initiative”.  Ensuring interoperability of services would allow the Organization to be much more efficient and effective.

The Global Geospatial Information Management (GGIM) initiative, he noted, had been endorsed by the Economic and Social Council, and aimed at playing a leading role in setting the agenda for the development of global geospatial information and to promote its use to address key global challenges.  It would provide a forum to liaise and coordinate with Member States, and between them and international organizations.

MAZLAN OTHMAN, Director of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, said that as the Committee celebrated its fiftieth anniversary this year, its range of tasks included programmes on capacity-building in space law and technology, maintaining registers of objects launched into outer space, enhancing applications for sustainable development, and establishing human space technology initiatives for capacity-building in developing countries.  The Committee also organized workshops, fellowships, and other programmes related to space technology and global health, climate change, and humanitarian assistance.

She added that the Committee was facilitating a global network of more than 1,000 space weather instruments.  The Committee promoted data sharing within the United Nations.  Other programmes focused on increasing public awareness of the socio-economic benefits of space use.  World Space Week was observed annually in October and had ended yesterday.  An active public outreach programme also existed.  A public exhibit at the Vienna International Centre contained exhibits, such as a moon rock, and a bust of Yuri Gagarin, obtained last Friday from the Russian Federation.  The Committee also produced a publication called Space Matters.

Committed to “data democracy”, the Committee would bring inputs to Rio+20 on using space data for sustainable development and focus on establishing a global repository of global space data.

Speaking after the panel presentations, MARIA TERESA MESQUITA PESSÔA ( Brazil) underscored the importance of the panels, as initiated a few years ago under the leadership of Chile, saying they added breadth and depth to the deliberations on the issue of the peaceful uses of outer space.  This year’s theme was of particular importance to Brazil, as the host country of Rio+20.

She recognized the value and the importance of geospatial data, including data provided by satellite systems, for the purpose of supporting the fulfilment of national sustainable development policies.  Brazil relied on international cooperation in those matters, but also wished to partner with other developing countries to promote the peaceful uses of space technology, in several areas of societal benefit.

Science and technology in their applications, such as satellite navigation technologies and others, provided essential tools to find viable long-term solutions to sustainable development challenges, she said.  The objective of the Rio+20 Conference was to renew commitment to sustainable development, and she called for renewed commitment of principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on environmental development.  The time had come to work on a legal framework for the application of that principle.  Transparency was an essential tenet for governance.

Statements

Mr. PRUNARIU, Chair, Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, said that the report contained in document A/66/20 gave a comprehensive overview of the work of the Committee and its subsidiary bodies in 2011.  In the Working Group of the Whole of the Fourth Committee, he would introduce the omnibus draft resolution covering the agreements of the Committee and those of its two subcommittees, including the decision of the Committee to recommend that Azerbaijan become the Committee’s seventy-first member State.

He said that, on 12 April 1961, the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin had completed the world’s first spaceflight onboard the “Vostok” spacecraft.  Later in 1961, on 27 November, the Outer Space Committee had held its first meeting.  Celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of those two historic events, the Committee had conducted a commemorative segment on 1 June 2011 at its fifty-fourth session.  The Committee had been resolving complex issues while maintaining the principle of consensus in its decision-making process and had actively promoted the peaceful exploration of outer space.  It had aligned many of its activities with global development goals.

Speaking about natural disasters, he said that space tools were indispensable in mitigating their effects.  The Committee had made efforts to increase awareness of and promote capacity-building in the use of space technology applications in disaster management, climate change, food security, and global health.  It was also important to look into how advanced space research and explorations systems and technology might contribute to addressing specific concerns, such as the need for clean energy and drinking water, the management of natural resources, tele-education, and tele-health applications.

The Committee this year, he noted, had continued its consideration of important agenda items, including space and society, space and water, space and climate change, and use of space technology in the United Nations system.  He especially commended the work of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, and Legal Subcommittee.  World Space Week had been observed between 4 and 5 October, and, last week, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) had launched its new publication, Space Matters.  The speaker concluded by recalling how his own first spaceflight 30 years ago had changed his vision and approach to the global issues and the protection of planet Earth.

MARTÍN VIDAL (Uruguay), speaking on behalf of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), acknowledged the work of the Outer Space Committee, and reminded delegations of the fiftieth anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s foray as the first man to have completed an orbit of the Earth in 1961.  That same year, on 27 November, the first meeting of the Outer Space Committee had been held, facilitating the approval of numerous resolutions.  It was also timely to recall resolution 1721A recommending the first legal principles for States regarding their activities in space, and the resolution 1721B, through which the Assembly judged that the United Nations should be the main element in the exploration and use of space for peaceful means.

He said outer space was a common human heritage and should be used rationally and for the benefit of the whole of humanity and future generations.  In that light, regional and inter-regional cooperation in the field of space activity was essential to strengthening the use of space with peaceful aims, to help States to develop space capacity, and to contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.  International cooperation should aim to promote scientific development in space technology and its applications.  The international community should foster the development of relevant and sufficient space capacity in interested States, and facilitate the exchange of relevant technologies between States on a mutually acceptable basis.

He welcomed the report corresponding to the fifty-fourth session of the Outer Space Committee, which illustrated the relevant activities undertaken by it, its subsidiary bodies and the secretariat, and was witness to the importance of those issues regarding the use of outer space for peaceful means.  In 1963, the General Assembly had solemnly declared that, in the exploration and use of outer space, States should be guided by a series of principles, namely that “the exploration and use of outer space should take place in benefit and interest of the whole of humanity”.  He recalled that the human exploration of space had not happened without sacrifice, and he paid tribute to the women and men who had lost their lives in the endeavour to expand the frontier of mankind.

Mr. HODGKINS ( United States) said the space age began as a struggle for security and prestige between two competitors, the former Soviet Union and the United States.  Today, American astronauts, Russian cosmonauts, and spacefarers from dozens of partner nations in Europe, Asia, and North America lived and worked together on the International Space Station.  In the last 50 years, in fact, men and women from nearly 40 nations had embarked on voyages dedicated to the peaceful exploration of outer space.  It was one of the great accomplishments of recent history that adversaries no longer competed for primacy of the Cosmos.  Instead, mankind now collaborated to expand human horizons and worked together to promote peaceful cooperation in spaceflight, to expand the capacity to operate in Earth’s orbit and beyond.

He said the work of the Outer Space Committee was critical to the development of the major space treaties underpinning space activities today.  Further, human space flight had altered the collective frame of reference for humanity.  Those who had travelled into space shared the privilege of seeing Earth as one world, one ecosystem, humanity’s one home, seemingly insignificant against the backdrop of the Universe, and yet uniquely precious.  The lesson conveyed by that experience was one of peace and cooperation in space.

The fiftieth anniversary of the first human space flight was a proper occasion to renew the international community’s commitment to realizing its common aspirations, he said.  Technology had freed the world from the tyranny of gravity, and the commitment to international forums such as the Outer Space Committee freed mankind to dream of a boundless future in space, free of earthbound tyranny and mistrust.

IDIT ABU ( Israel) said progress in the field of space technology was difficult to achieve alone, and joining forces was the best way to drive significant advances and create technological breakthroughs.  For its part Israel had officially entered the space age with the launch of the OFEQ-1 satellite in September 1988, joining a group of eight nations capable of producing, launching and operating their own satellites.  Israel had technological advantages in certain niches of space technology, notably small, sophisticated satellites, and satellite-based technologies, such as remote sensing.  The private Israeli space industry was expanding its links with foreign partners, and had sought to advance several projects that would benefit the international community at large.

She said her country had recently joined the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI), and both parties had agreed earlier this year to collaborate more intensively in future joint scientific undertakings, including establishing an infrastructure for virtual collaboration.  Detailing a number of Israel’s own space initiatives, she said the country was eager to expand its space cooperation and share its expertise with other States, providing access to space for those without the ability to do so independently.  In that spirit, Israel invited other countries to sign a cooperation agreement so that the full potential of the peaceful uses of outer space, for the benefit of communities around the world, could be realized together.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.