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Fourth Committee General Debate on Agenda item 45: “International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space”

Wednesday, 26 October 2022
H.E. MR. ANTONIO M. LAGDAMEO, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Philippine Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Conference Room 4, UNHQ


Mr. Chairman,

The Philippines aligns itself with the statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of the Member States of ASEAN.

We commend the members of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPOUS) for their continued excellent work, as well as the programs of the Subcommittees and the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).

Both in principle and practice, the outer space should be a global commons for a broad spectrum of human activities, from navigation and telecommunications, to commerce and finance. Outer space activities therefore must not be the exclusive domain of a small group of States.

The Philippines supports the view that the use and exploration of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and interest of all countries, irrespective of the degree of their social, economic or scientific development. Outer space activities must be done not only in an inclusive manner but also, based on full respect for the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and equity. As the heritage of mankind, outer space is not the old case of mare liberum, “first come, first served.”

Mr. Chair,

The Philippine Space Act of 2019 formulates a comprehensive space policy to both protect the country’s sovereignty and national interests, as well as to respond to regional developments, including the pursuit of space capabilities by other neighboring states.

The groundbreaking Philippine legislation also charts out how the Philippine space policy should be organized, including the role for the new Philippine Space Agency which is an attached agency under the Office of the President.

The Philippine Space Act outlines the Philippine space policy framework focused on six (6) thematic areas: national security and development, hazard management and climate studies, space research and development, space industry capacity building, space education and awareness, and international cooperation. A Philippine Space Council was also created, to be chaired by the President and selected members of this cabinet.

Since the 1960s, the Philippines has an interest in outer space, including efforts to build satellites as well as involvement in aspects of other areas such as education, capacity building and international cooperation with countries such as Japan.

Mr. Chair,

The Philippines wishes to submit the following action points:

  • First, strengthen the role of COPUOS as the main platform for promotion of international cooperation for appropriate technical assistance to developing countries in space-related activities.
  • Second, strengthen international cooperation in the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space activities through space, science and their applications.

The Philippine government has taken a step forward in responding to issues surrounding space by employing a whole-of-government approach, beginning with initiatives from our Philippine Space Council such as the creation of the Technical Working Group on Orbital Debris Protocols.

At a regional level, the Philippines continues to participate in the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) and the Regional Space Applications Programme (RESAP) of the UNESCAP. Both of these platforms provide an opportunity for exchange in the scientific, technical, and policy levels as well as international cooperation opportunities that help bolster our capacity in ensuring the sustainability of the outer space environment and of space activities.

  • Third, bridge the technological space divide between the developing and developed countries through capacity building programs and outreach activities in pursuit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The Philippines continues to participate to the best of our ability in the important initiatives of this Committee such as the Space2030 Agenda and the Working Groups on the Long-Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities and on the Legal Aspects of Space Resource Activities.

  • Fourth, ensure the safety, security and sustainability of the use and exploration of outer space through increased voluntary implementation of the Committee’s Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines.
  • Finally, prevent any possibility of an arms race in outer space through transparent confidence building measures.

The Philippines remains engaged and stands ready to continue working with COPUOUS and UNOOSA to achieve a truly collaborative and inclusive international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.

Thank you. END