Legal Subcommittee Opening Statement LSC Chair 2022-2023


Sixty-second session

Monday, 20 March 2023, AM, 1034th meeting

Excellences, Distinguished Delegates and Representatives,

I am delighted and honored to welcome you all to the Vienna International Centre, and now declare open the sixty-second session and 1034th meeting of the Legal Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

Statement by the Chair to the Subcommittee.

For many decades our Legal Subcommittee has made extraordinary achievements in advancing international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space and is continuously serving as a unique platform at the global level in supporting common efforts. Through collective progress in developing legal frameworks, we promote awareness in the use of space technology applications at the global, regional, interregional, and national level, in many critical areas of concern to all humanity for the benefit of future generations.

Our joint efforts are aimed at achieving concrete progress in terms of further developing and implementing long-term sustainability of outer space activities and in enhancing the capacities of States in advancing economic, social, environmental and cultural development with the use of space tools.

It is truly encouraging to see the steady expansion of space operations in the recent years through-out the world. This trend highlights the growing importance of space activities for all nations, but it also demonstrates the growing need to coordinate and commit to legislative efforts as well as non-binding guidelines/mechanisms, which are required to improve global collaboration in space activities to the advantage of all nations, with a focus on the interests of developing nations.

The Outer Space Treaty, together with the other treaties on outer space, form the legal order for today’s space activities. Despite that great fact, it is becoming more and more obvious that legislation is being fast out paced by the private technological developments that we are seeing progressing at a fast speed. Hence we see more work being undertaken in considering this challenge, and this work is critical.

Distinguished delegates,

It is with great pleasure that I observe the efforts of the Legal Subcommittee to further advance the application of the legal regime of outer space. In this regard, I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to the Office for Outer Space Affairs for advancing the work on capacity-building in space law and policy, whilst more is still expected especially in developing nations as more and more of them are coming to fore in this area.

The Subcommittee has a special and important task to consider many areas of space law and space governance.

I would like to draw your attention to the work we have before us at this session. We will reconvene three Working Groups: the Working Group on the Status and Application of the Five United Nations Treaties on Outer Space, the Working Group on the Definition and Delimitation of Outer Space, and the Working Group on Legal Aspects of Space Resource Activities.

There will also be a symposium organized by the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) and the European Centre for Space Law (ECSL) on the topic “Legal aspects of a dark and quiet sky”.

Distinguished delegates,

I would not have done my duty if fail to recognise the valuable work done by the Secretariat lead by the Acting Director, Mr. Hedman, in preparing for this session.

On my part, I thank all States members of the Committee for the confidence that you have placed in me as the Chair of the Subcommittee for the period 2022-2023. I assure you of my commitment to the work of the Subcommittee, whilst I also rely/implore on the kind cooperation of all delegations during this session, and I am looking forward to supporting progress toward achieving our goals and fulfilling the mandate of the Legal Subcommittee.

Thank you for your attention.