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News > Statement of the Delegation of The Islamic Republic of Iran Before the Fifty-eighth Session of The Legal Subcommittee of COPUOS 1-12 April 2019 Agenda Item 3: General Exchange of Views

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Statement of the Delegation of The Islamic Republic of Iran Before the Fifty-eighth Session of The Legal Subcommittee of COPUOS 1-12 April 2019 Agenda Item 3: General Exchange of Views

“In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful”

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, my delegation associates itself with the statement delivered by the distinguished Ambassador of Egypt on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.  My delegation is also pleased that you have taken on the responsibility of chairing the Subcommittee and we are certain that under your leadership we will have a successful session and this Subcommittee will continue to make important contributions to the development of outer space law. We would also like to commend the Director of the Office for Outer Space Affairs and the Secretariat for their hard work and smooth preparations of the session.

We would also like to welcome the new Members of COPUOS.

Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Delegates,

The extraordinary record of success achieved by this Subcommittee in developing and promoting space law has, substantially, been due to its ability to address practical problems via a consensus-based process. Matters relating to the definition and delimitation of outer space are considered as great importance to the Islamic Republic of Iran and we believe that no flexible and pragmatic approach toward the definition and delimitation of outer space may be taken unless all States, regardless of their level of scientific, technical and economic development, arrive at a commonly agreed standpoint by taking into account all positions and views of the Member States.

Mr. Chairman,

The Islamic Republic of Iran reaffirms the commitment of Member States to the peaceful exploration and use of outer space and would like to emphasize the following principles: universal and equal access to outer space for all countries without discrimination, regardless of their level of scientific, technical and economic development, and the equitable and rational use of outer space for the benefit of all humankind; the non-appropriation of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, by claim of sovereignty, use, occupation or any other means; the non-militarization of outer space; the prevention of the installation of weapons of any kind in outer space; the strict use of outer space, as the common heritage of humankind, for peaceful purposes; and international cooperation in the development of space activities, in particular those referred to in the Declaration on International Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for the Benefit and in the Interest of All States, Taking into Particular Account the Needs of  Developing Countries.

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation attaches great importance to the issue of Prevention of an Arms Race in the Outer Space. We are concerned over the negative implications of certain projects under the pretext of defense systems as well as the pursuit of advanced military technology capable of being deployed in outer space leading to weaponization of space which has contributed to the further erosion of an international climate conducive to the promotion and strengthening of international peace and security.

We are of the view that the prevention of an arms race in outer space has assumed greater urgency because of legitimate concerns that existing legal instruments are inadequate to deter an arms race in the outer space. There is an attempt to seek military and strategic superiority in outer space. Therefore, negotiating a legally binding instrument on prevention of an arms race in outer space is an urgent priority within the UN framework.

Mr. Chairman,

           The use and application of small satellites bring about economic growth and quality of life enhancement. The Islamic Republic of Iran has included small satellites design, build and operation among its space program objectives.They will have a wide range of applications and provide the potential to meet the needs of developing societies in various areas, such as education, telecommunications and disaster mitigation. Therefore, these countries are involved in small satellites activities such as designing, manufacturing, launching and operating them, and my delegation firmly shares the view that no restrictions should be imposed on these countries in using the small satellites for peaceful purposes.

          Furthermore, the Islamic Republic of Iran is of the view that there is no need to seek new legal regime for small satellites since all international rights and obligations of States with respect to other types of satellites could be equally relevant for the use of small satellites; thus, we should continue to operate under the current framework of international space law.

Mr. Chairman,

With respect to the geostationary orbit, I would like to emphasize on equitable access to the GEO by all States, including satisfaction of the requirements of developing countries for GEO use and satellite telecommunications generally. We would like to recall this Subcommittee’s principles of equitable access and the rational, efficient, and economic use of GEO in a constructive manner that remains the appropriate way forward on this issue.

I would like to appreciate the efforts of the international and multinational entities, specifically, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) during past years to provide safe utilization of GEO for all countries. In this vein, I have to underline that the existing regulations on geostationary orbit which is based on the “first come first served” regime has restricted the capacity in GEO. Since, many orbital slots are occupied by the most developed countries, there is little chance for developing countries to enter into outer space in the future aimed at placing their own geo satellites on appropriate orbital slots to provide more useful satellite services and use the benefits of geostationary orbit.

Mr. Chairman,

We are of the view thatthe enhancement of international cooperation in the field of outer space would promote the sustainability of outer space activities, so that, all Member States should have equitable and non-discriminatory access to outer space. Therefore, all states must be ableto benefit fromscientific and technical advantage of space as “mankind heritage” regardless of the levels of their economic and technological developments, in an atmosphere with no discrimination.

Nowadays, it seems that access to space data and technology is becoming more open and less costly; however, the gap between countries that have developed space-related capabilities and technologies and those that have not, the so-called “space divide”, is unfortunately widening. The space divide manifests itself in many aspects of space-related activities, for example, in the use of data or the launching of satellites. Thus, there is a need to effectively address the space divide by creating opportunities for access to space and strengthening existing opportunities.

Mr. Chairman,

On space debris mitigation measures, my delegation continues to share the concerns about its increase and its impacts on sustainable use of outer space. In our view, addressing this common concern is a common responsibility. However, due to differences in the contributions of developed and developing States to space problems including space debris, and differences in their respective economic and technical capacity to tackle these problems, they have differentiated responsibility. Accordingly, in addressing the challenges related to space debris, all States shall act based on their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. This is a globally agreed principle, reflected in many binding and non-binding international instruments, application of which would promote substantive equality between developing and developed States, rather than mere formal equality.

Mr. Chairman,

On international space law capacity building, the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) making considerable efforts in the field of Capacity Building regarding International Space Law. For instance ISA supports Iranian students participating in Manfred Lachs moot court (Space Law Moot Court) and provides them with required facilities. In addition to that, every year during the World Space Week, ISA holds a legal forum for international space law and through this, the Iranian students take the advantage of getting familiar and being updated with the basic norms and the latest developments in the field of international Space Law. ISA also supports students and authors who work on international space law and in this regard every year several essays and books are published by them. Recently, Iranian Space Agency had engaged in involving graduated students with interest and background in international space law to participate in the activities of its office of international space law. These enables new generation of international law graduates who are interested in the field of Space Law to further engaged in Space Law practice.

To conclude, Mr. Chairman, I wish you and all distinguished delegates, full success in achieving our common goals of serving mankind through peaceful uses of outer space.

Thank you for your attention,

14:49 - 3/04/2019    /    Number : 564099    /    Show Count : 32


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