The State of Qatar called for united international efforts to promote and frame the United Nations instruments on outer space to keep pace with the significant development of space technology and its uses.
This came in a speech delivered by Sheikh Ali bin Jassim al-Thani, Qatar's ambassador to Austria and permanent envoy to the UN organisations in Vienna, before the 57th session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which was held in Vienna.
Sheikh Ali said that space activities had become indispensable tools for economic, social, environmental and health development and resource management, in addition to their role in deepening understanding of the universe and protecting the planet, emphasising the importance of the implementation and use of space activities in the light of the conventions and the promotion of international law on outer space, which would contribute to the optimal regulation of the use and utilisation of outer space resources.
As for Qatar's efforts to support UN efforts and benefit from the peaceful uses of outer space, the ambassador pointed to Qatar's accession to the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space and the ratification of the Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space, as well as the ratification of the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space.
The ambassador added that Qatar works to settle and consolidate the infrastructure of its activities in outer space, including legislative instruments, the development of national personnel specialising in space science and technology, and the integration of space science and technology into national development plans.
Sheikh Ali noted that Qatari engineers are currently working on the design and manufacture of the second satellite, Es'hail 2, to launch this year after successfully launching the first Qatari communications satellite Es'hail 1, in addition to continuing to build partnerships and enhance cooperation with states and space agencies in the area of peaceful use of outer space, where Qatar relies heavily on the support of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs for its future space programmes.
In conclusion, the ambassador affirmed the right of all states to contribute to outer space activities without discrimination and on equal terms. He also added that it should not be allowed to own outer space on the pretext of sovereignty, use, occupation or any other means, noting that the same goes for the non-militarisation of outer space.
The ambassador noted that outer space should only be used in peaceful purposes and in order, advance the sustainable development of humanity, avert dangers to the planet, affirm the principle of regional and international co-operation in the peaceful uses of outer space and consolidate peace on the planet.