General Assembly: 21st plenary meeting, 76th session
The General Assembly today adopted a resolution that offers the global community a blueprint to reach the Sustainable Development Goals by tapping into the data, technology, innovative products and other tools gained through space exploration.
By the terms of the text, titled “The ‘Space2030’ Agenda: space as a driver of sustainable development”, the Assembly urges Member States to implement the Space2030 Agenda and work with other entities ‑ from non-governmental organizations to businesses ‑ to promote the use of space-based solutions. The resolution also aims to guarantee that the benefits derived from outer space exploration are open to all nations, regardless of their development.
In introducing the text, Romania’s representative said: “Space is becoming a permanent presence in common life and on the political agenda of Government and international organizations. The dependency of our civilization on space systems is proven and is of critical importance.” A 2018 Assembly resolution directed the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to develop this agenda, based on the results of the UNISPACE+50 process. The agenda was endorsed by the Committee in September by consensus.
The agenda has four overarching objectives wrapped around four pillars: space economy, space society, space accessibility and space diplomacy, Romania’s representative said. Space diplomacy aims to build partnerships and strengthen international cooperation so outer space is used peacefully and its activities governed globally.
The representative of the United Kingdom said the implementation plan for the Space2030 Agenda is key to helping Member States understand how to use space-based technology to realize the global goals. An initiative of the United Kingdom Space Agency uses its space sector’s capabilities in satellite technology and data services to develop space-enabled projects in partnership with developing countries, she said. So far, the programme has helped 47 countries across Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America tackle global development and resilience challenges in the areas of climate, food security, maritime safety, health, education and disaster management.
The speaker for Singapore said many space-based technologies support Government functions and everyday life, from monitoring weather patterns and environmental conditions to supporting telecommunications and public health. He agreed that access to space science, technology applications and space-based data can support achievement of the global goals. The international community must ensure space technology is used to provide equal opportunities to all by enhancing Internet connectivity and access to broadband technologies, especially in areas with less-developed infrastructure.
The representative of Nigeria said outer space and other celestial bodies “must be regarded as the common heritage of humankind”. The Space2030 Agenda is a positive way to guarantee outer space is open to all nations, regardless of their level of development. Outer space holds immense potential for both developed and developing countries, she said, calling on the United Nations to ensure equal and non-discriminatory access to outer space.
Also speaking today were representatives of the United States, Switzerland and Bangladesh.
The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. Thursday, 28 October, to consider the annual report of the International Court of Justice and the report of the Secretary-General on his trust fund to assist States in the settlement of disputes through the Court.