UAE chairs Working Group of the Whole, participates in Fourth Committees on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space during UNGA 78

29 October 2023

To highlight the importance of the peaceful use of space

A high-level delegation from the UAE, headed by His Excellency Omran Sharaf, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Advanced Science and Technology, participated in the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly meetings, which were held from 23 to 27 October. The delegation consisted of a team from the UAE Space Agency, including His Excellency Ibrahim Hamza Al Qasim, Deputy Director-General of the UAE Space Agency, and Abdullah Al Shehhi, Head of Strategic Research at the UAE Space Agency.

“The dependency of our world on space systems is proven and is becoming critical. The challenges and opportunities that we are facing can only be addressed through stronger international cooperation and advancement of global governance of outer space. To date, the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its subsidiary bodies continue to represent unique platforms for fostering dialogue, strengthening international collaboration in the peaceful uses of outer space and advancing the global governance of outer space activities.” said H.E Omran Sharaf.

As a Chair of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), his excellency continued to emphasize on the adoption of draft omnibus resolution tabled by the UAE. The resolution was adopted by the Fourth Committee with full consensus from participating member states.

His Excellency continued: "COPOUS is a platform for multilateral cooperation, the Office for Outer Space Affairs continues to foster dialogue among all stakeholders, builds capacity in space law and policy, space science, technology and applications, supports regional centres for space science and technology education, promotes inclusive access to space and advances space sustainability. With these activities, the Office plays an important role in supporting Member States in attaining the sustainable development goals and fulfilling the objectives of the “Space2030” Agenda.

On another note, H.E Ibrahim Hamza Al Qasim, Deputy Director-General of the UAE Space Agency, delivered the UAE's statement during the meeting of the Fourth Committee. Recognizing the significance of space capabilities to address national and global challenges that include Environment Monitoring, Climate Change, and Food Security and others. and encouraged to strengthen global efforts to ensure the long-term sustainability of the space sector through collective international efforts. With the aim of developing advanced sciences and technologies that will be of paramount importance for the progress and welfare of all humankind.

"Space is the legacy of all mankind, and therefore requires preservation and sustainable use, and the strengthening of international cooperation in space activities, in addition to strengthening confidence and security measures among member states. In this regard, we stress the need for and importance of using outer space in a spirit of responsibility and transparency, and to curb the arms race in outer space." said His Excellency Ibrahim.

The UAE has exerted extensive efforts to promote the peaceful use of outer space. In December 2022, the UAE hosted the Abu Dhabi Space Debate (ADSD), which brought together leaders of the global space industry and decision-makers, to work together to achieve real agreements and solutions to the challenges facing the development of the space sector.

The UAE's participation in the UNGA’s comes at a time of increased interest in space activities globally, with countries competing to launch satellites. Hence, this has made space-related activities a key focus for the Assembly.

The UAE joined the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), one of the largest UN committees that consists of 100 member states. This membership highlights the UAE’s foreign policy’s success and the appreciation of its efforts globally.