Dr. Joel Joseph Marciano Jr. on the Signing of the PhilSA-UNOOSA MOU
An Official Side Event of the 60th Session of the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS)
04 June 2021- Foremost, I wish to greet Director Simonetta di Pippo and our colleagues from the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Philippine Permanent Mission in Vienna a good morning and good afternoon. We also acknowledge the members and representatives of the Philippine Space Council, good afternoon.
Thank you very much for virtually joining us in the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) and the United Nations, represented by the Office for Outer Space Affairs (UN OOSA).
I really hoped we could have had an in-person meeting in celebration of this auspicious occasion, which is being held at the sidelines of the ongoing session of the Legal Sub-Committee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS). Nevertheless, I am assured by everyone’s presence and the results of our joint work and efforts, despite the limitations that we currently face. In this regard, I wish to extend my warmest congratulations and gratitude to the teams of both parties, especially to our team in the Philippine Space Agency and the Department of Foreign Affairs, who played a crucial role in arriving at this significant milestone today.
The Philippine Space Agency’s space cooperation agreement with the United Nations holds special importance as the first agreement of the PhilSA on space cooperation with an international partner, coming approximately one and a half years after the enactment of Republic Act 11363 or the Philippine Space Act that also established the PhilSA. As a young space agency, we look to international partnerships and agreements as an important part of our mobilization and as a valuable means of accelerating our growth and development. We can learn many things from our neighbors’ space programs and from those that came before us, as we continue to build the local space ecosystem and strive to be a more active player in the global space economy.
Our country has been a member of the UN COPUOS since 1977, and the PhilSA acknowledges the efforts of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in actively engaging international counterparts and the United Nations in space cooperation and science diplomacy over the past several decades. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding attests to our country’s desire to become a more active participant and contributor in the family of nations united by the common ideal of promoting the peaceful uses of outer space for the benefit of all humanity.
We recognize the efforts of the UN OOSA to cooperate with new and emerging actors in space, including the Philippines. Hence, it is my sincere hope that this Agreement will bring space closer to the lives and in service of all Filipinos. We look forward to the joint initiatives in space science & technology and space policy & law, which we will undertake under the framework of this cooperation, and the opportunities it will bring to both parties. We are optimistic that this cooperation will yield valuable contributions to the use of space in addressing disaster risk reduction and climate change, sustainable communities and infrastructure, industry innovation, and other socio-economic development objectives of our country, and towards the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Finally, our country’s thrust of becoming a space-capable and space-faring nation is guided by our vision of a Filipino nation bridged, uplifted, and empowered through the peaceful uses of outer space and our mission of promoting and sustaining a robust Philippine space ecosystem that adds and creates value in space for and from Filipinos and for the world. Indeed, the milestone we are marking today is in line with this vision, mission and goal, and, with that, we assure everyone and our partner, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, of PhilSA’s support and continuous efforts to ensure the success of our cooperation.
Thank you very much, Maraming salamat po at Mabuhay!
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