Let me begin by thank the delegation of United Arab Emirates for a very 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 Resolutions.
Bangladesh always advocates 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 believe in the safe, secure and sustainable use of outer space to facilitate the overall socio-economic development. Space technology is a critical enabler for further economic development and prosperity. we need to reinvigorate our efforts to use the space technology for the greater well-being of the world.
Just after the independence in 1972, Bangladesh initiated a project named Bangladesh Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS) Programme for surveying natural resources, environment and disaster monitoring and management purposes. We also established our first satellite earth station in June 1975. Building on the successes of those initiatives, Bangladesh Space Research and Remote Sensing Organization (SPARRSO) was established. SPARRSO has been applying space and remote sensing technology, in the field of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Geology, Cartography, Water Resources, Land use, Weather, Environment, Geography, Oceanography, Science, Education, science-based Knowledge and other related space research areas. It also performs research activities for developing this technology and its practical application.
As a country on its graduation process from LDC to developing country, Bangladesh’s space related activities have been increased. Bangladesh launched its first communications satellite Bangabandhu-I into space in 2018 as the 57th country of the world. Bangabandhu-I is not only contributing by earning money through service rental but also facilitating disaster risk reduction, internet and banking services, telemedicine and remote education. It has created momentum to Bangladesh’s ongoing development trajectory and helping to achieve the targets of agenda 2030. We are preparing to launch our next communications satellite.
Allow me to highlight a few points:
First, space and remote sensing technology has significant role to play in achieving our shared goals of 2030 Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 and Paris Agreement. Greater access to space-based data and applications and space infrastructure are critical in this journey. Data driven analysis and data based future planning are vital for implementing those global agendas. We join others in welcoming the adoption of the General Assembly Resolution 76/3, The “Space2030” Agenda: space as a driver of sustainable development.
Second, being one of the most climate vulnerable countries, Bangladesh attaches utmost importance to the use of space research and remote sensing for disaster management, environmental protection, natural resources management and climate change impact monitoring. In this regard, we appreciate the initiatives and work of the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) and emphasizes on providing necessary support to UN-SPIDER.
Third, we underscore the importance of capacity building of the emerging spacefaring and developing countries. The developing countries can reap dividends through knowledge sharing and effective international cooperation. Subsequently, we emphasize on supporting the work of the regional centres for space science and technology education affiliated to the United Nations and to strengthen exchanges and collaboration between different regional centres.
Fourth, universal, equitable, rationale use of outer space by all countries must be ensured. We are deeply concerned about the catastrophic consequences of weaponization, strategic competition and military conflicts in outer space. Bangladesh has consistently supported the call for prevention of an arms race in the outer space. As a State Party to the Outer Space Treaty, we reaffirm the vital importance of preventing arms race in outer space. We are equally concerned about the potentially alarming impact of debris in space and urge the member states to comply with the Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines of the Committee.
Fifth, we recognise the contribution of the space-based science and technology in the health sector and underpin the contribution of the space technology in managing public health emergencies, forecasting epidemics, facilitating early warning, and health service delivery through telehealth and telemedicine. In this regard, we are looking forward to the adoption of the resolution “Space and Global Health” by consensus.
We welcome the recommendation of the Committee to include Guatemala and Uzbekistan as new member. We also appreciate the holding of Joint panel discussion of the First and Fourth Committees. Before concluding, I reiterate our commitment to contribute in the work of the Committee as new member of COPUOS.
I thank you.