Qatar: Peaceful Uses of Outer Space an Essential Driver for Sustainable Development

Vienna � Information Office � The State of Qatar stressed that the peaceful uses of outer space were an essential driver for sustainable development and that outer space activities were indispensable tools for economic, social, environmental and health development, and the management of natural resources.

This came in a speech delivered by HE Sheikh Ali bin Jassim Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations organizations in Vienna, before the 55th session of the scientific and technical subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space held in Vienna.

HE Sheikh Ali bin Jassim Al-Thani pointed to a steady increase in the membership of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. This is an indication of the growing importance that States attached to the Committee, as outer space activities became indispensable tools for economic, social, environmental and health development, and the management of natural resources, His Excellency said, pointing to “the role of these activities in deepening our understanding of the universe and the protection of our planet”.

He stressed that the State of Qatar is working, in accordance with a strong, long-term plan, to settle and consolidate the infrastructure of outer space activities, including legislative tools and preparing national cadres specialized in space science and technology as well as integrating space science and technology into national development plans, pointing out that Qatar launched in 2013 the first Qatari telecommunications satellite (Es’hail-1), and the Qatari engineers are working on the design and manufacture of the second Es’hail-2 satellite, to be launched this year.

His Excellency added that the State of Qatar continued to build partnerships and strengthen cooperation with States and space agencies in the field of other peaceful uses of outer space, and also relied heavily on the support of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs for its future space programs.

The Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the UN organizations in Vienna commended the efforts made to prepare for the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE+50) and the draft resolution prepared by the Secretariat of the Outer Space Committee as a driver for sustainable development, and represents a good basis for action.

HE Sheikh Ali bin Jassim Al-Thani looked forward to hearing that the Working Group on the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities would conclude its work by adopting the full package of guidelines at the next session of the Committee in June in order to be adopted by the General Assembly next September.

He added the international community looks forward with hope to the results of the meetings of the committee on outer space this year and regards it as a qualitative step towards emphasizing the common interest of mankind in promoting and expanding the exploration of outer space and in upholding the rule of law and the norms of international space law, primarily the right of all States to contribute to outer space activities without discrimination and on equal terms; non-appropriation of the outer space by claim of sovereignty, use, occupation or any other means; non-militarization of outer space; prevention of an arms race in outer space and its exploitation strictly for peaceful purposes and for the promotion of sustainable development; the prevention of threats to the planet; the affirmation of the principle of regional and international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space; and the consolidation of peace on the planet.

HE Sheikh Ali bin Jassim Al-Thani stressed that the State of Qatar will work with the member states of the committee and with all the Member States of the United Nations to achieve these goals for the common benefit of mankind.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs