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Statement by Ms. CHEN Peijie, Counsellor and Legal Adviser of the China Mission to the United Nations, at the Sixth Committee of the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly, on Item 28 "International Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Outer Space"


New York, 14 October 2008

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese Delegation, to express my thanks and appreciation to the Bureau of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and the Office for Outer Space Affairs of the UN Secretariat for their outstanding leadership and hard work that led to the positive outcome of the 51th Session of COPUOS.

Mr. Chairman,

Over the past 50 years, mankind has been increasingly active in the exploration and use of outer space in diverse forms and with tremendous achievements. Predictably, space activities will accelerate in the years to come. In this context, the international community is more concerned with the direction in which space activities are headed. The Chinese Delegation would like to call on the international community to work together for a harmonious outer space.

Mr. Chairman,

A harmonious outer space should firstly be an outer space for peace. To use outer space for peaceful purposes is the cardinal principle that all space activities must abide by. Any practices that contravene this principle, such as militarization and weaponization of, and arms race in, outer space, go against the tide of the times, and are therefore, unpopular. The Chinese Delegation is of the view that it is the unshirkable responsibility of States to effectively prevent militarization and weaponization of, and arms race in, outer space.

Secondly, a harmonious outer space should be an outer space for cooperation. As the common heritage of mankind, outer space, including its use and exploration, is a matter for mankind as a whole to take care of, and space activities should aim at promoting international cooperation.

Over the years, China has been committed to enhancing international cooperation in outer space on the basis of peaceful use, equality and mutual benefit, and common development. At the global level, China has continued over the past year to take an active part in activities organized by the United Nations and other multilateral cooperative mechanisms such as the International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters', ICG, ISECG and GEO. Robust support has been provided for the UN-SPIDER project, and preparations for its Beijing Office are in full swing. At the regional level, China is committed to the promotion of space cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, and supports the establishment of the Asia-Pacific