|Statement by Mr. MA Xinmin at the fourth Committee of the 61st Session of the UN General Assembly on Item 30: International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space|
Please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to express our thanks and appreciation to the bureau of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space ("UNCOPUOS") and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs ("UNOOSA") for the positive results achieved at the 49th session of UNCOPUOS.
At the current session, representatives of many developing countries presented in their statements the application of space technology in their respective countries. We are pleased to see that their application of space technology is being, or has already been, augmented. We look forward to seeing more and more developing countries actively participate in the various initiatives and activities in the peaceful uses of outer space so as to increasingly broaden the scope and enrich the contents of cooperation in the area of outer space.
Peace, development and cooperation have become the trends of our times. Regrettably, however, there exists in the uses of outer space a range of practices that go against these trends, namely, the militarization and weaponization of outer space, and the possibility that they may result in an arms race in outer space. How to effectively prevent the militarization and weaponization of outer space and an arms race therein has become an issue facing the whole mankind. It is also a responsibility that no country can ignore. As an authoritative organ of the international community in exploring the peaceful uses of outer space and conducting cooperation in outer space, the UNCOPUOS should make its contribution to the development and improvement of the legal regime on the prevention of militarization and weaponization of, and an arms race in, outer space.
The Chinese government is of the view that independent innovation and international cooperation should be combined to enhance our ability in the peaceful uses of outer space. While the policy of independence and self-reliance should be adhered to, importance should also be attached to the strengthening of international exchanges and cooperation in the area of space on the basis of the principles of equality and mutual benefit, peaceful uses and common development. China has actively participated in various activities in the peaceful uses of outer space within the United Nations system, and attaches importance to the regional space cooperation in the Asia Pacific region.
The latest achievement of outer space cooperation in the UN system is the creation of a space-based information for disaster management program entity. A concrete action in implementing the recommendations of the UNISPACE III, it is the UNCOPUOS' first step after six years of discussion to translate words into action, and is in conformity with the principles set out in the Vienna Declaration of UNISPACE III. The Chinese government supports the idea that the space-based information for disaster management program be placed under the UNOOSA and headed by its Director, that its specific activities be carried out by two parallel coordination offices in Beijing and Bonn, and that the two offices have a division of labor and coordinate their work. The Chinese government has noted with appreciation that some countries have expressed their willingness to provide support to this program. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the execution of its responsibilities regarding the coordination office in Beijing. We will implement as soon as possible, according to the finalized work plan, our commitment of providing free office premises, and some expert and staff support to the Beijing office. In addition, continued efforts will be made to put in place part of the funds and resources required for the establishment of the Beijing office in order to ensure smooth implementation of this program.
Regarding regional space cooperation, I'm pleased to point out in this connection that cooperation in the area of space technology and its application in the Asia Pacific region has yielded marked progress. As of July 31, 2006, a total of nine countries, namely, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Peru, Thailand and Turkey have signed the Convention on Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization ("APSCO"). Among these nine countries, five of them, that is, Mongolia, China, Peru, Iran, and Bangladesh have completed their domestic procedures of ratifying the Convention. In addition, Mongolia and Peru have deposited their ratification documents. This Convention will come into force after the deposition of documents of ratification by 5 countries. By then, the APSCO will be launched officially with its headquarters in Beijing. We trust that the creation of APSCO will surely drive Asia-Pacific countries to expand their exchanges and cooperation in the area of space technology and its application, promote regional economic development and social progress, raise the living standards of the people, and become one more success story of regional cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.
The year of 2006 happens to be the fiftieth anniversary of China's aerospace industry. Over the past 50 years, the Chinese government has adhered to, and will continue to adhere to the following purposes and principles in the development of its aerospace industry: exploration of the outer space to broaden our knowledge about our planet and the universe; peaceful uses of outer space to promote human civilization and social progress for the benefit of mankind; meeting the needs of economic, scientific and technological development, and those of national security and social progress, enhancing the competency of the general public in science, safeguarding the rights and interests of our nation as well as increasing the overall national power. Guided by these purposes and principles, China has made great strides in a number of areas in space technology. During the period of its Eleventh Five-Year Plan period (2006 – 2010), China will set priority on transforming the aerospace industry from experiments and application to business and service to develop and operate satellites in areas such as communication, navigation and remote sensing in a drive to build an aerospace industry chain consisting of manufacturing, operation and service of space, earth and terminal products. Efforts will also be made to engage in active cooperation in the area of space technology application and space science.
In the area of outer space, the Chinese government will, as always, uphold the principle of peaceful uses and international cooperation. We shall work with other members of the international community in a joint effort to enhance our capabilities in the peaceful uses of outer space, thus making our contributions to peace and development of mankind.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.