Statement under Agenda Item 48: International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space at the Fourth Committee of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly Thursday, 13 October 2016, Conference Room 4

Statement under Agenda Item 48: International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer
Space at the Fourth Committee of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly
Thursday, 13 October 2016, Conference Room 4

Mr. Chairman,
Since this is the first time my delegation takes the floor in this Committee, please allow me to
congratulate you on your assumption of the Chair, and assure you and other members of the
Bureau of our delegation’s unstinting cooperation in discharging your mandates.
We take this opportunity to thank the delegation of Canada for presenting a comprehensive
report on the work of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), and for
steering the work of the Working Group of the Whole on the draft Resolution. We underscore
the need for achieving consensus on various elements of the draft, particularly in the interest of
constructive engagement by all Member States during the lead up to [the observance of the
fiftieth anniversary of UN Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space]
(UNISPACE + 50) in 2018.
As a matter of principle, our delegation advocates the need for a robust international legal
regime to govern outer space activities, including exploration and use of space for peaceful
purposes, with a view to ensuring shared and equitable benefits for all humankind. We
recognize the potential contributions of space science and technology and their applications for
realizing the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Being a climate vulnerable delta, exposed to frequent natural disasters, Bangladesh continues
to reap dividends from investment in space research and remote sensing, particularly for
disaster management, environmental protection, natural resources management and climate
change impact monitoring. In pursuance of our Government’s ongoing initiatives to foster
economic growth and inclusive public service delivery, with the help of ICT, we see the growing
importance of collaboration on and investment in space technologies, such as satellite
communication, Earth observations systems and satellite navigation technologies.
With this in mind, our Government has recently completed the necessary groundwork for
launching our own communication satellite, Bangabandhu I, hopefully by the end of 2017.
Partly financed by our own resources, this first project marking our entry into the outer space is
being implemented with the cooperation of France, Russian Federation, United States and ITU,
in particular. It is expected that given proper coordination in the satellite’s frequency, it should
be able to provide services to all South Asian countries as well as a number of countries in
South East and Central Asia. Our Government, along with our telecommunication regulatory
authority, is currently working on setting up a public limited venture to manage the commercial
operations of the satellite.
In terms our national level capacity building, we acknowledge the cooperation received from a
number of regional and international organisations, including the Asia Pacific Space
Cooperation Organisation (APSCO) and the regional centres for Space Science and Technology
We look forward to further deepening our engagements with the UN Office for Outer Space
Affairs (UN-OOSA) towards developing a comprehensive National Space policy and further
enabling legislations.
We are also in the process of considering seeking membership of COPUOS, and would
appreciate member states’ support in this regard in due course. We urge COPUOS to remain
seized with issues concerning equitable allocation and sharing of space orbit and transfer of
knowledge, technology and know-how, with particular focus on addressing the constraints
faced by the least developed countries.
Bangladesh has consistently supported the call for prevention of an arms race in the outer
space, and a corresponding international legally binding instrument to be negotiated in the
Conference on Disarmament (CD). As we stress the need for overcoming divergence of views
concerning the legal instrument, we recognize the important role various Transparency and
Confidence Building Measures (TCBM) can play in promoting space security and sustainability of
space activities. We see merit in sustained efforts towards implementing the recommendations
of the UN Group of Governmental Experts on TCBMs. We believe there is a need for a common
but differentiated responsibility among Member States in mitigating the potentially alarming
impact of debris and minimizing accidents in space.
In this context, we welcome the initiative to hold a joint panel discussion between the First and
Fourth Committees to discuss all related issues during the 72nd session of the UN General
Assembly next year.
I thank you.