Delivered by His Excellency Ibrahim Al Qasim, Deputy Director-General, UAE Space Agency

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

On behalf of UAE’s delegation, I would like to congratulate you and the distinguished panel for your efforts and leadership. I’d also like to extend our appreciation to all states for their constructive contributions and urge for even more cooperation towards the peaceful uses of outer space.

The United Arab Emirates affirms its full support and commitment toward the successful work of COPOUS and its subcommittees. We believe in the importance of dialogue and calling on all parties to take measures that contribute to harnessing space to improve quality of life, find solutions to issues that may pose a threat to space activities, and bridge the regulatory gaps resulting from rapid technological advancements in space systems.

25 years ago, the UAE took its first step towards establishing a national space program. In 2006, we established our first space science and technology center responsible for developing Earth-Observation capabilities, this was done through a knowledge-transfer program with the Republic of Korea. In 2014, we announced our first deep space mission to explore Mars in partnership with the US– our spacecraft Hope, has been providing scientific observations of the red planet to the international community since entering orbit in early 2021. 3 years following the return of the first Emirati astronaut from the International Space Station, Hazzaa Al Mansouri, we announced our sequel mission to send Sultan Al Neyadi, who will become the first Arab astronaut to carry out a long duration mission to the International Space Station. His 6 months mission starts early next year.

Two weeks from today, we will be launching our first mission to the surface of the moon; Rashid Rover will study the properties of lunar soil, dust movement, and surface plasma conditions.

We recognize the importance of international cooperation, and throughout our new space exploration mission to explore the asteroid belt, we are building on the heritage that was created from our mars mission, and we are extending the cooperation with more member states. The UAE firmly believes in maintaining outer space for peaceful uses. We also acknowledge the right of all member states to develop their capabilities in space systems in a peaceful and sustainable manner. The United Arab Emirates affirms its commitments toward international efforts in disarmament and nonproliferation. In addition, we continuously encourage member states to actively participate in these commitments.

Ensuring cooperative use of space, enabling space sustainability and the development of public and private space programs must be on top of the global space agenda. The space industry has and will always be a major driver of human ingenuity and a true indicator of the curious nature of our species.

I would like to conclude by extending an invitation to all member states to participate in the upcoming event my country is hosting focused on the sustainability of space environment. The Abu Dhabi Space Debate brings together a wide spectrum of political, private, and military leaders in order to create truly global dialogue on the most pressing space issues. Assessing emerging challenges and opportunity that we collectively will face and creating a sense of urgency around space environment sustainability is part of what Abu Dhabi Space Debate aims to tackle.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.