Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) Director General Joel Joseph Marciano Jr. delivered the Philippine National Statement on Agenda Item No. 4 on the “General Exchange of Views” on 26 August 2021 during the 64th Session of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS).
The Philippines highlights its efforts towards maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes, including its pursuit for the ratification and accession to the Liability and Registration Conventions and involvement in non-legally binding mechanisms, such as the 21 Long-Term Sustainability Guidelines, and fora such as the Working Group on the Long-Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities under the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Working Group on Space Resources under the Legal Subcommittee.
The statement also emphasized efforts to increase the country’s capabilities in space through international cooperation, technology transfer programs and satellite and applications development. These efforts include the recently signed PhilSA-UNOOSA and PhilSA-JAXA MOUs, the decadal survey for space science and technology which will help identify gaps, prioritize missions, and recommendations in the country’s critical sectors will be undertaken, and the development of the next generation of satellites, particularly the Multispectral Unit for Land Assessment satellite or MULA.
The 64th Session of the UN COPUOS is being held in hybrid format from 25 August to 03 September 2021. PhilSA will present a technical presentation on Agenda Item 11 entitled, “The Philippine Space Agency: Using Space Technology in Response to the Changing Climate” on 01 September 2021.
Dr. Marciano led the Philippine Delegation in this forum and was joined by representatives from PhilSA, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the Permanent Mission of the Philippines in Vienna.
64TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE ON THE PEACEFUL USES OF OUTER SPACE
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL STATEMENT ON AGENDA ITEM NO. 4 “GENERAL EXCHANGE OF VIEWS” | 26 AUGUST 2021
JOEL JOSEPH S. MARCIANO, JR.
DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE PHILIPPINE SPACE AGENCY (PhilSA)
Thank you, Mr. Chair, for giving me the floor.
On behalf of our delegation, I have the pleasure to extend my warmest congratulations to you, Mr. Chair, on your assumption as Chair of the Committee. I also commend Director Simonetta di Pippo and the Office for Outer Space Affairs for the excellent arrangements for this meeting.
This year marks the first full year of participation of the Philippine Space Agency or PhilSA in the COPUOS and its subsidiary bodies as the Philippines’ lead agency in pursuing space cooperation. Our delegation has taken part in the activities and discussions in this esteemed body, and so we wish to express our views on a number of items in our agenda.
On item 5 on ways and means of maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes, the Philippines is in the process of pursuing ratification and accession to the Liability and Registration Conventions, as well as identifying ways to pursue non-legally binding mechanisms such as the 21 Long-Term Sustainability Guidelines. We reaffirm the Committee’s unique role as the main platform to discuss and address issues and developments in the peaceful uses of outer space within the multilateral framework of the United Nations, recognizing the enabling role of international cooperation in this objective.
Furthermore, in recognition of our common interest in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes for the benefit of all humanity, we support the Working Groups on the Long-Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities and on Space Resources. We encourage continued engagement and greater representation of developing countries and new space-faring nations in the pursuit of their respective mandates and work plans, bearing in mind the varying degrees of economic and scientific development of each State.
On item 8 on space and sustainable development and item 11 on space and climate change, the Philippines recently signed memoranda of understanding with the Office for Outer Space Affairs and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency or JAXA.
We have also expressed interest to participate in a number of multilateral initiatives and fora relevant to these agenda items, including the Space Climate Observatory, UN SPIDER, Sentinel-Asia, and the Pan-Asia Partnership for Geospatial Air Pollution Information Project and other similar activities under the framework of the Regional Space Applications Programme of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
Locally, we continue to work on bolstering our technology transfer programs on satellite and applications development, with Filipino engineers and scientists at its core. PhilSA, with the Philippine Space Council, is currently conducting its decadal survey on space science and technology. This survey will allow us to identify gaps, priority missions, and recommendations in critical sectors such as weather and climate studies, natural resource management, communications, navigation, and national security. The survey will enable these sectors to benefit from the use of space applications derived from Earth observation and telecommunication satellites, ensuring the inclusive and sustainable conduct of activities and utilization of space technology in the country. Furthermore, the development of our next generation of satellites, particularly the Multispectral Unit for Land Assessment satellite or MULA, the country’s biggest to date, is being geared toward environmental and disaster applications.
Mr. Chair and distinguished delegates, to know more about the Philippines’ efforts in this regard, I wish to invite and encourage you to attend and view our technical presentation on agenda item 11 entitled, The Philippine Space Agency: Using Space Technology in Response to the Changing Climate, to be held on September 1 at 09:45 AM CET.
The field of space continues to evolve. As such, we wish to underscore the need for continued support and cooperation in various capacity-building activities, to enable new space actors to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and to address emerging challenges. In this regard, the Space Law for New Space Actors Project where the Philippines will be a participant soon, is especially valuable.
On item 13 on the future role and method of work of the Committee, we encourage the Committee and the Secretariat to look for ways that will enable closer coordination and engagement on the work of the two Subcommittees, and with bodies that are closely interlinked to its mandate, such as the International Telecommunication Union or ITU and other international organizations. This will ensure coordinated, relevant, and timely resolution of cross-cutting issues such as space debris mitigation, space traffic management, and on matters relating to the geostationary orbit.
Under the prevailing circumstances and moving forward, we also encourage the Secretariat and the Committee to continue to take advantage of digital platforms available to us in the conduct of our work. We support the continued use of the webcast during appropriate meetings in plenary to encourage wider participation, improve public access, and promote awareness and support for the important work of the Committee.
On item 15 on the “Space2030” Agenda, we hope for the adoption of the draft document during this session and we look forward to working with fellow Member States in realizing its implementation plan.
On item 16 “other matters”, we express our support for the applications of Slovenia, Bangladesh, Angola, and Panama for membership to the Committee. We look forward to working with them in promoting and upholding the peaceful uses of outer space.
In conclusion, Mr. Chair, the Philippines assures the Committee and the Secretariat of its full support and commitment to our shared endeavors.
Thank you very much.
— END —