12 October 2011
Statement by Mr. Mohammad Reza Sahraei
Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
before the Special Political and Decolonization Committee
on the agenda item 51: “International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space”
at the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
(New York- 12 October 2011)
In the Name of God the Compassionate the Merciful
Let me begin by thanking you for convening this important debate. I would also like to use this opportunity to express our appreciation to the Director and the staff of the UNOOSA for their efforts to further promote international cooperation on peaceful uses of outer space.
The Islamic Republic of Iran as one of the members of the Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) has constantly supported and contributed to the work of the Committee to uphold the fundamental principles governing space activities enshrined in the Outer Space Treaty and the related United Nations instruments. My country is perfectly aware of the substantial contribution of satellite products to the well being of all mankind and to the socio-economic development of all counties. At the same time we recall that these activities should be carried out in a manner compatible with the sovereign rights of States, including the principle of non-intervention as enshrined in the relevant United Nations instruments.
We believe that the outer space as the common heritage of mankind must be used, explored and utilized for exclusively peaceful purposes and for the benefit and interest of all mankind in a spirit of cooperation and without discrimination based on the principle of the sovereign equality as stipulated in the GA resolution 1348 (XIII) 13 December 1958. We are fully convinced that the international endeavours to promote peaceful use of outer space will only come to desired results if fully supported by initiatives and efforts to prevent a possible arms race. Weaponization of outer space constitutes a major threat to all mankind, given the fact that it would finally lead to an arms race similar to what we are witnessing on the earth. Therefore, all efforts should be done in order to secure the use of outer space solely for the purposes of the wellbeing and prosperity of all nations around the world.
Iran gives a high priority to capacity-building which we convinced that plays an essential role in sustainable development of space technology. In this context, Iran has paid much more attention to regional workshops, over the past years. With the valuable cooperation of UNOOSA several workshops and symposia on the space law, UN-SPIDER and applications of space science and technology have been organized in Iran. In this context, the Islamic Republic of Iran will host a co-organized regional workshop with United Nations on “ Use of Space Technology for Human Health Improvement” on 23-26 October 2011 in Tehran. Co-organizers of workshop were United Nations Office for outer space and Iranian Space Agency. The prime objective of the workshop is to promote an awareness of the use of space technology applied to health care and review benefits for such applications as tele-epidemiology / telehealth / telemedicine and tele – education in medicine.
My country was also among the countries which actively contributed to the establishment of the Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO), based on its firm belief in regional and international cooperation. Respectively, conducting close cooperation within the framework of APSCO is a sign of hope to enhancement of international cooperation in the field of space activities.
On UN-SPIDER programme, we would like to express satisfaction on the progressive trend of its implementation. we supported it since the very beginning of its initiation . In June 2009 a Cooperation Agreement has been signed between UNOOSA and the Iranian Space Agency on the establishment of the UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Now Iran is an active partner of UNOOSA in the region to implement UN-SPIDER and continues its support.
The Islamic Republic of Iran made a remarkable advancement in space science and technology based on its own capability and indigenous knowledge. After launching the second indigenously made Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) named SAFIR-2 carrying our first ever home built telecommunication satellite called OMID, on 2 February 2009 and the successful placement of the satellite in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), Today ,as we observe, the scientific atmosphere of the country has changed and space technology in Iran is developing. Some of our recent achievements in this field is as follows :
– The Iran’s Space Structure laboratory and Aerospace Center on 30 January 2011 inaugurated . The center is considered as the largest of its kind in the Middle East.
– Four national satellites, Fajr (Dawn), Rasad (Observation), Amirkabir I, Zafar (Victory) and the Kavoshgar 4 (Explorer 4) satellite carrier, were unveiled on 7 February 2011. Fajr is the first sensing satellite of the country and Rasad, is the first satellite for photography and carries remote measuring equipment, would be used in meteorology and identifying sea borders. Also Iran unveiled two domestically-manufactured fixed ground stations and another mobile one for receiving remote sensing images.
Iran is likely to launch “Explorer 4” with bio life capsule into space soon. Explorer 4 was test launched on 16 March 2011 without a bio life capsule. Also, we established a site for conducting further launching of our national satellite launch vehicles. Within the framework of targeted development programs on space technology, several projects on student satellite have been carried out.
To conclude, I would like to express our sincere hope for the successful and satisfactory conclusion of the special committee. I assure you Madam. Chair of my delegation’s fullest cooperation to this end.
I thank you Madam Chair,