Statement by H.E. Muhammad A. Muhith, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, Thematic Debate: “Outer Space (disarmament aspects)”, First Committee 78th UNGA, 19 October 2023

Mr. Chair,

Bangladesh aligns itself with the statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Allow me to speak our national position.

Bangladesh firmly believes that access to outer space is an inalienable right of all States and recognize outer space as a global common for the entire humanity beyond the jurisdiction of any one State. We underscore that the exploration and use of outer space should exclusively be for peaceful purposes only, which would benefit all humanity. To reinforce this commitment, we proudly joined the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).

We remain deeply concerned about the catastrophic consequences of weaponization, strategic competition and military conflicts in outer space. Armed conflict in space would make the entire domain a battlefield and jeopardize international peace and security.  As a State Party to the Outer Space Treaty, we reaffirm the vital importance of preventing arms race in outer space.

We reiterate our call that all activities in the outer space must be done in accordance with international law and the principle of non-appropriation of outer space.


Mr. Chair,

Over the past decade, the outer space environment has been significantly impacted by the growing number of space objects, the increasing involvement of private sector actors, the decreasing costs associated with launching objects into orbit, and the planned human missions to deep space. The distinction between peaceful and military applications of outer space has become increasingly blurred. These highlights the urgent need to strengthen the current legal framework and security aspects of outer space to address the emerging threats.

While transparency and confidence-building measures play a valuable role in fostering trust among nations, they cannot replace the necessity of a legally binding agreement. Bangladesh reemphasizes the urgent need for the commencement of substantive negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) on a legally binding and multilaterally verifiable instrument on the prevention of an arms race in outer space (PAROS) in all its aspects.


Mr. Chair,

We continue to remain concerned regarding deliberate debris-creating activities, including kinetic direct-ascent anti-satellite tests and uncoordinated launches and uncontrolled re-entry. Increasing congestion and competition in outer space could imperil access and use by our succeeding generations.

We emphasize the necessity for improved information-sharing regarding the purpose of space objects, the intentions behind operations, and the corresponding mechanisms.

We urge States not to use any space- or ground-based capabilities, including anti-satellite (ASAT), whether exclusively military or multi-use, to deliberately damage or destroy space assets.

With our first communication satellite Bangabandhu-I launched into space, our stake for a secured and peaceful outer space is more than ever before. We therefore call on spacefaring nations to respect applicable laws and norms on the use of weapons in outer space and develop appropriate and effective instruments that will prevent an arms race in outer space.

Mr. Chair,

Bangladesh underscores the activities in outer space must not remain the exclusive preserve of a small group of States. We call for strengthening of capacity-building programmes, with particular emphasis on developing countries, to ensure that outer space is, both in principle and in practice, a truly global commons which all States can avail themselves to.

Bangladesh rejects any unilateral coercive measures that contravene international law and could hinder or prevent space activities for peaceful purposes by developing countries. The major space actors that have been mostly responsible for damaging the outer space environment till date should also take upon themselves the added responsibility to make this expanding frontier for human endeavor safe and sustainable.

Our collective responsibility to effectively govern outer space is something that we owe to present and future generations.

I thank you.