South Africa Statement LSC 62 Item 6 Application of 5 UN Treaties NM-LP
LEGAL SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE PEACEFUL USES OF OUTER SPACE: 62ND SESSION
AGENDA ITEM NO 6: : STATUS AND APPLICATION OF THE FIVE UNITED NATIONS TREATIES ON OUTER SPACE
20 MARCH – 31 MARCH 2023
South Africa is of the view that adherence to the United Nations treaties contributes to creating a safe, secure and sustainable atmosphere for the development of outer space activities and enhancing the effectiveness of COPUOS as the main body for discussing and negotiating international space governance. As erlier mentioned , South Africa is party to 4 of the UN Treaties except the Moon Convention. It must be stated that implementation of these Teaties requires the development of and compliance with national legislation, and related regulations, which South Africa has found to be challenging but possible. These processes can take long periods of time especially that they require Parliamentary approval
South Africa notes with appreciation the growing number of parties to the five UN treaties on outer space and encourage those States that have not yet become parties to them to consider doing so. This could further be enhanced by the application of the non-legally binding Guidelines on the Long Term Sustainability of Outerspace, which South Africa negotiated for the past 8 years or so., which Committee led by India is pursuing the development of further guidelines which are paramount in the outerspace arena arena where technology fast outpaces the regulatory framework. Progress made in this regard is well appreciated and delegations are encouraged to actively participate to reach common ground..
South Africa has been engaged with the following regulatory milestones-
- It is currently considering ratifying the Moon Agreement following an extensive research undertaken, but at a later stage.
- Consideration of how to implement the Guidelines for the Long-Term Sustainability of Outerspace to enhance the safety of space operations, mitigate associated risks and promote international cooperation for the benefit of all.
Considering the growing number of space actors and the benefits derived from space science technology and their applications, the conduct of such activities by States and other entities continues to expand. In this regard, South Africa is of the view that the conduct of space actors involved in developing international and regional space cooperation should conform to applicable international space law, revelevant declarations and extensive guidelines.
Thank you, Chairperson.