62ND SESSION OF THE LEGAL SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE ON THE PEACEFUL USES OF OUTER SPACE
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL STATEMENT
AGENDA ITEM NO. 12 “GENERAL EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION ON NON-LEGALLY BINDING UNITED NATIONS INSTRUMENTS ON OUTER SPACE”
ATTY. NOELLE RIZA D. CASTILLO
DIRECTOR OF THE SPACE POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION BUREAU
PHILIPPINE SPACE AGENCY (PhilSA)
Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to express our support to your Chairmanship and commend the excellent work in the planning and preparations for this 62nd Session of the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space made by the Secretariat of the Subcommittee and Acting Director of the Office for Outer Space Affairs, Mr. Niklas Hedman.
The Philippines aligns itself with the statement of the Group of 77 and China. We affirm the applicability of international law in outer space, together with customary international law and the United Nations Charter.
The Philippines recognizes the importance of non-legally binding United Nations instruments in facilitating the development of a rules-based governance in outer space. These instruments can contain principles, protocols, and other measures that enrich the structures of international law and the regime of international law itself. It can bridge the gaps found in existing legally binding instruments governing activities of States in outer space. We are of the view that it is equally important for States to work together and agree on these non-legally binding principles or instruments side by side with the efforts to adopt a comprehensive and legally-binding agreement on the subject.
In this context, the Philippines commits itself to the work of the Legal Subcommittee and of the COPUOS in strengthening the international legal regime governing the peaceful uses of outer space. We are also supportive of the work of relevant multilateral bodies which serve as vital platforms that seek to establish norms and principles that will further boost fruitful international cooperation on the peaceful uses of outer space.
In the conversations on various non-legally binding instruments for outer space, the Philippines is of the view that States should ensure that outer space is, both in principle and in practice, a common heritage of mankind. Outer space is a resource that all States can avail of equally. To uphold this principle, all activities in outer space must be conducted in accordance with international law and should remain exclusively for peaceful purposes.
The Philippines also aligns with the view that activities in outer space should not remain exclusive for a small group of States. We advocate in the same manner that the international legal framework for activities in outer space should address the concerns of all states. You can count on the support of the Philippines as you lead us forward on the work of the Legal Subcommittee.
Thank you, Madam Chair.