Statement by South Africa The 62nd Session of the Legal Sub-committee
Statement by South Africa
The 62nd Session of the Legal Sub-committee
(20 March–31 March 2023)
United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
Delivered by Ambassador
Agenda Item 4: General Exchange of Views (GEV)
It is such an honour to be present here today, alongside the rest of the South African delegation witnessing you chairing the 62nd Session of the Legal Subcommittee. We extend our gratitude to Mr Niklas Hedman and the teams from the Office for Outer Space Affairs and the Secretariat for their continued support
At the onset, my delegation associates itself with the statements delivered on behalf of the African Group and the Group of 77 and China respectively.
South Africa looks forward to hearing about the progress made by Member States on the implementation of their regulatory frameworks to ensure the effective application of relevant, international norms, standards and practices for the safe conduct of outer space activities.
South Africa being a mineral endowed country has great interest in participating in the Working Group on Legal Aspects of Space Resource Activities and welcomes the Five-Year Work Plan and Methods of Work of the Working Group. Furthermore, we look forward to the finalization of the mandate and the scope of the Working Group.
South Africa would like to update the Subcommittee on the status of our draft legislation which amongst other things takes cognisance of issues such as insurance conditions to minimise the vulnerability of the state, whilst accommodative of the growing/thriving space industry. We are in the final stages of processing for approval and look to it being signed into law.
South Africa acknowledges that its draft New legislation will account will take into account technology developments, which needs to be agile enough to keep up with such developments. SACSA strives to ensure Safe and responsible technology development regulation environment to such an extent that the National licensing activities should ensure we align with treaties and non- binding guidelines as … technology is leading the legislation.
In addition, the South African Council for Space Affairs (SACSA) has been actively undertaking its regulatory role with the Minister recently in October reappointed the Council to continue with its regulatory role within the country. On the same vein the Council worked tirelessly with the Minister with his counterpart to get concurrence with National Treasury counterpart and issue the first commercial South African built satellite, AGRISAT-1, which was launched on the 3rd of January 2023 in Cape Canervaral, USA.
AGRISAT will provide forestry industry with high-quality data. These images will deliver valuable information for applications such as harvest monitoring, seasonal planning and assessments that analyse information such as soil moisture, yield prediction and biomass levels. Data will support growers with reducing carbon dioxide emissions and help them to develop sustainable agricultural methods. Such information will have important environmental benefits for the planet, such as helping to maintain biodiversity and to prevent natural habitats from being diminished for crop growth.
South Africa was honoured to organise the virtual 2022 Africa Rounds of the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Competition. The Competition continues to provide a platform for students, academics, legal professionals and the space community across Africa to build capacity on matters of international space law, which is the cornerstone of space governance. South Africa was honoured to have organised the African Rounds But we are pleased to see organisation in other countries, such as Nigeria through National Space and Development Research Authority, (NASDRA)
The South Africa through our National Space Agency SANSA, is currently revitalising its cooperation agreements with other African Space Agencies such as the Egyptian Space Agency and the Algerian Space Agency to implement projects relating to capacity building in space technology development and in promoting space science and technology policies and associated applications and the legal framework they are in line with.
Chairperson, distinguished delegates
In conclusion, I thank you for your kind attention and my delegation looks forward to a successful gathering of the Legal Subcommittee.