The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) highlighted the Philippines’ commitment to the international space treaties and principles promulgated by the United Nations during the Philippine National Statement delivered under Agenda Item No. 5 on “Status and Application of the Five Nation Treaties on Outer Space” on 01 June 2021 at the 60th session of the Legal Subcommittee (LSC) of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPOUS).
In the statement delivered by Atty. Noelle Riza D. Castillo, the Director of the Space Policy and International Cooperation Bureau of PhilSA, the Philippines stated its plans to ratify and accede to the five UN treaties on outer space and highlighted the activities in place in policy work, training, and capacity-building that shall support the implementation of the treaties.
The 60th Session of the LSC was held in hybrid format from 31 May to 11 June 2021.
PhilSA Director General Joel Joseph Marciano, Jr., PhD. led the Philippine Delegation that represented the country in this forum. He was joined and supported by representatives from PhilSA, the Philippine Embassy and Permanent Mission in Vienna, and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
60TH SESSION OF THE LEGAL SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE ON THE PEACEFUL USES OF OUTER SPACE
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL STATEMENT
AGENDA ITEM NO. 5 “STATUS AND APPLICATION OF THE FIVE UNITED NATIONS TREATIES ON OUTER SPACE” | 01 JUNE 2021
ATTY. NOELLE RIZA D. CASTILLO
DIRECTOR, PHILIPPINE SPACE AGENCY (PhilSA)
Thank you, Madam Chair for giving us the floor.
As this is the first time that our country is taking the floor, on behalf of our delegation, I have the pleasure to extend my warmest congratulations to you, Madam Chair, on your election as the Chair of the Legal Subcommittee. I also wish to commend Director Simonetta di Pippo and the Secretariat for the excellent arrangements for this meeting. We are confident that under your leadership, Madam Chair, together with the preparations of the Secretariat, the meeting of the Subcommittee will be a success, despite our current challenging circumstances. In this regard, please be assured of my delegation’s full support and active participation.
Republic Act 11363 or the Philippine Space Act declares that it is the policy of the State “to ensure that the Philippines abides by the various international space treaties and principles promulgated by the United Nations and is an active participant in the international space community, including international rules and procedures concerning the Outer Space Treaty and Liability Convention, among others.”
Cognizant of our mandate and our commitment to the peaceful uses of outer space, the Philippines has begun the important work of preparing for the ratification or accession to the United Nations treaties on outer space. Our country is currently undertaking and completing the necessary work for this process, in accordance with our national laws and policies.
To date, among the treaties regarding outer space, the Philippines is a Party only to one – the Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies or the “Moon Agreement”, which we ratified in 1981 or exactly 40 years ago.
In line with the related provisions stipulated in the Philippine Space Act, the Philippines commits to pursue the ratification of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, or the “Outer Space Treaty,” and the Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects. We also remain confident that we will be able to accede to the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space.
Madam Chair and distinguished delegates,
To complement this goal, the PhilSA, as the primary entity of the government that will plan, develop, and promote the national space program to implement the Philippine Space Policy, has also commenced with the important groundwork for the implementation of these treaties, which includes establishing the Philippine National Registry of Space Objects and planning succeeding national laws to be implemented related to the Registration and Liability Conventions. We have also embarked on several training and capacity-building activities on public international law and international space law for relevant stakeholders in our country.
In closing, Madam Chair, the Philippines reaffirms its steadfast commitment to the peaceful, responsible, and sustainable use of outer space for the benefit of all humanity. We are confident that we have taken an important step toward enabling the Philippines to contribute more significantly to the work of the Committee, as well as supporting our endeavors in promoting the utilization of outer space for creating societal benefit and economic development.
Thank you very much.
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