Statement by Mr. Toufiq Islam Shatil, Deputy Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN at the General Debate under Agenda Item 48: International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space at the 4th Committee, 24 October 2023, Conference room 4

Madam Chair,

I 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 Resolution.

The use and exploration of outer should not be used other than wellbeing of the human kind in a peaceful manner. Access to outer space is an inalienable right of all States and therefore, we recognize outer space as a global common for the entire humanity beyond the jurisdiction of any one State. Safe, secure and sustainable use of outer space should be ensured for economic development and prosperity as well as to secure a better world for future generations.

Madam Chair,

Bangladesh started its outer space programme just after its independence by initiated a project named Bangladesh Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS) Programme in 1972 for surveying natural resources, environment and disaster monitoring and management purposes. We also established our first satellite earth station in June 1975. In continuation of these initiatives, Bangladesh Space Research and Remote Sensing Organization (SPARRSO) was established.


SPARRSO is the national space agency of Bangladesh- a multi-disciplinary research and development organization covering research in different geo-disciplinary area, working in space research, space technology development and space applications in the country for peaceful purposes. SPARRSO works on earth observation and weather monitoring, land use mapping, river and coastal monitoring including long-term changes in the largest mangrove forest in the world, crop monitoring including acreage estimation, weather forecasting, flood area mapping, marine fishing zones identification system in the Bay of Bengal and so on. SPARRSO plays an important role on critical issues such as disaster management and mega-infrastructure development and supports other government organizations for capacity building in the Graphic Information System (GIS) and space technology application domain.


To support the national ‘Vision 2041’ as envisaged by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, SPARRSO adopted short-, medium- and long-term plans to tackle the technological gaps and for the advancement of space infrastructure and technology in Bangladesh. We are working for a long-term, affordable and sustainable national space programme specifically tailored to national requirements, with better earth observation system for land use; improved communication services; catalysing scientific research and home-grown high-tech support industries. To that end, we are working with the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), among other institutions and agencies.

Bangladesh launched its first communication satellite, Bangabandhu-1, in 2018. The satellite is providing telecommunication, broadcasting, VSAT facilities, DTH, banking services, distance learning, telemedicine services, etc. We have initiated preparations for Bangabandhu-2 satellite for earth observation, which is expected to provide support for precision agriculture, resource management, environmental monitoring, urban area mapping, disaster management, surveillance of the maritime territories, etc.

Madam Chair,

While discussing the use of space technology and its applications for ensuring leaving no one behind, I would like to highlight the following points;

First, we underscore the potentials of space science and technology and their applications in contributing to socio-economic development, including the attainment of the “Agenda 2030”. We cannot ignore the role of data driven analysis and data based future planning. In this regard, we emphasize on the capacity-building, technology transfer and effective international cooperation to enable all Countries to avail the benefits of space science and technology. We also call for the implementation of “Space2030” Agenda: space as a driver of sustainable development.

Second, we refer to the resolution 77/120 entitled “Space and global health” and highlight the potential contribution of space technology in health sector. In this regard, we need to promote research and innovation activities to facilitate the development and implementation of space-based science and technology in the health sector as encouraged in the resolution.

Third, 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. Space and remote sensing technology has significant role to play in achieving the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 and Paris Agreement. We also 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.

Fourth, we refer to the contribution of space technologies in increasing agricultural yields through precision and sustainable farming; optimizing crop productivity through efficient land monitoring and management and improving livestock management. Agriculture is still in the centre of the economy of many LDCs and develop countries and we need to use the space technology to ensure food security around the world.


Madam Chair,

 In terms challenges to ensure peaceful use of Outer Space, I would like to mention two points;

First, the number of satellites launched into orbit in 2022 was 2470 comparing to 210 in 2013. It has been increasing at an exponential rate and to date, States have registered radio frequencies with ITU for more than 1.7 million non-geostationary satellites that may be launched into orbit by the beginning of 2030. In this situation, we call for carrying outer space activity in accordance with international law, rules, regulations and norms, including the Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines of the Committee and the Guidelines for the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities of COPUOS. We also express our concern regarding deliberate debris-creating activities, including kinetic direct-ascent anti-satellite tests and uncoordinated launches and uncontrolled re-entry.

Second, transparency and confidence building measures are critical for ensuring peaceful use of outer space. In this regard, we emphasize 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.

Finally, we commend the critical role of Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and encouraged to see the steady growth of COPUOS in recent times. As a member of COPUOS, we look forward to working together for a shared and sustainable future by ensuring the use and exploration of the outer space for peaceful purposes only.

I thank you.