61ST SESSION OF THE LEGAL SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE
UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE ON THE PEACEFUL USES OF OUTER SPACE
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL STATEMENT
AGENDA ITEM NO. 9 “CAPACITY-BUILDING IN SPACE LAW”
01 APRIL 2022 | 11 AM – 1 PM CET | VIA INTERPREFY
ATTY. GIOVANI C. CONCEPCION
CHIEF, SPACE POLICY AND LEGAL AFFAIRS DIVISION
PHILIPPINE SPACE AGENCY (PhilSA)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
The Philippines aligns itself with the statement of the Group of 77 and China under this agenda item and would like to issue the following remarks in its national capacity.
Madam Chair and distinguished delegates,
As a relatively new space actor, the Philippines considers it important to build and strengthen our national capacity in space law, policy, and diplomacy, toward fostering an enabling policy and regulatory environment that promotes the safe, secure, peaceful, and sustainable use of outer space for national security and socio-economic development, and grounded by the Philippine Space Act.
Through the Philippine Space Agency or PhilSA and the Philippine Space Council, the country has undertaken continuous efforts to enhance capacity and foster appreciation for space law, policy, and diplomacy alongside our ongoing efforts to ratify the remaining UN treaties on outer space, particularly the Liability and the Registration Conventions. With this, allow me to highlight some of our initiatives.
During World Space Week 2021 with the theme “Women in Space,” PhilSA organized a career talk webinar for Filipino students and graduates looking to pursue a career in space, including in space law, policy, and diplomacy. The webinar amplified the voices of accomplished women and highlighted the value of gender diversity and inclusivity in the field.
The Philippines is committed to continuing its national efforts and programs on gender equality and women empowerment and we encourage all States to continue their initiatives to ensure that women and girls are equally represented and play an active role in space, especially in space law, policy, and diplomacy. In this regard, our delegation expresses its support for the UNOOSA’s Space4Women project.
Also in 2021, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs or DFA, in partnership with PhilSA, launched the e-book “Compendium of Lectures and Speeches Delivered during the International Space Cooperation and the Philippines Webinar held in October 2020”. The Compendium is an enriching reading material on the Philippine space agenda, publicly available on the websites of the DFA and PhilSA. We appreciate the valuable contributions of former OOSA Director Simonetta di Pippo, Acting Director and Secretary Niklas Hedman, and the Vice Chair of the Working Group on Space Resources Steven Freeland to the Compendium.
For 2022, PhilSA is conducting its “Space for All: Engaging the Youth on International Space Law and Policy” Project that will produce a book on the UN treaties on outer space for primary grade school students – in support of PhilSA’s Inclusive SSTA Knowhow Utilization, Exchange, and Localization Activities Program or ISKUELA – the national know-how transfer and training program aimed to increase and foster support, awareness, interest, and appreciation for space among Filipinos.
We also continue to enhance our capacity in space law, policy, and diplomacy through international cooperation.
Through the Memorandum of Understanding that we signed in June 2021, the Philippines participated in the Asia-Pacific Technical Advisory Mission of the Space Law for New Space Actors Program conducted by UNOOSA with the support of the Government of Japan on January 24 to 26, 2022. The country now looks forward to the next stage of this Mission, which is slated for the latter half of this year.
On regional efforts, the Philippines continues to participate in the National Space Legislation Initiative or NSLI of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF). We are of the view that the NSLI is an important venue for information sharing and discussion on national space legislation in the region. We welcome the second phase of the NSLI and express our commitment to contribute to its work.
PhilSA also benefited from the 2021 Space Law Workshop themed “Regional Cooperation Schemes on Space Law and Policy” organized by the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO) in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the China Institute of Space Law.
The Philippines welcomes similar initiatives and reiterates the importance of enhanced international cooperation for capacity-building in space law with the goal of ensuring that countries with emerging space capabilities have the expertise and capacity to implement the UN space treaties, guidelines, and resolutions.
In this context, the Philippine delegation notes with appreciation the contributions of the UNOOSA in capacity-building in space law and highlights the importance of continued access of developing countries to these opportunities. In this regard, the Philippine delegation underscores the need to ensure that sufficient resources are available for UNOOSA and encourages all to continuously support OOSA’s capacity-building activities and programs.
In closing, Madam Chair, our delegation assures the Subcommittee of our active participation in our continued discussions in this important agenda item. The Philippines also welcomes cooperation activities in this area.
Thank you, Madam Chair.