Delivered by: Ibrahim AlQasim, Deputy Director General of UAE Space Agency

Thank you, Mr. Chair,

Distinguished delegates,

We welcome the session of international cooperation in the peaceful use of outer space as part of the Fourth Committee. This gathering marks another pivotal moment in our collective pursuit of universal aspirations.

We would like to express our profound gratitude to the Chair of COPUOS, Mr. Omran Sharaf, for his unwavering dedication and his leadership. His efforts have significantly contributed to the advancement of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.

We are also deeply appreciative of Mr. Niklas Hedman, the Acting Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, for his dedication and invaluable contributions over the previous years. His commitment has undoubtedly shaped the trajectory of our endeavours in outer space.

Furthermore, I would like to extend our heartiest congratulations to Ms. Aarti Holla-Maini on her commission as the new director of UNOOSA. We are confident that under her capable leadership, the office will continue to soar to new heights.

Mr Chair, the vast expanse of outer space remains a frontier of boundless possibilities. As we stand on the cusp of unprecedented technological advancements, it is of paramount importance that we underscore the significance of international cooperation in its peaceful uses. By working together, we can harness the potential of outer space for the benefit of all humankind, ensuring that its exploration and use contribute to peace, development, and the well-being of all nations.

Scientific experiments conducted in the field of outer space have led to real and positive impacts in multiple areas, such as technology, environment, agriculture, engineering, communications and navigation, among others.

The UAE has made significant strides in the realm of space exploration. We have established various space exploration programs and embarked on missions to the International Space Station, the Moon, Mars, and most recently, a new mission to the Asteroid Belt. It is essential to note that in all these ventures, the UAE has been diligently collaborating with international partners.

Over the course of a 6-month space mission on board the International Space Station (ISS), UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi conducted over 200 experiments and studies that took about 600 hours in collaboration with 10 international space agencies and 25 esteemed UAE and global universities.

The UAE recognizes the importance of space capabilities that address our national and global challenges which include Environment Monitoring, Climate Change, and Food Security, with several programs and initiatives that have been executed at a national level.

We established a program to harness satellite data to map out a trail of destruction caused by extreme weather events around the globe and develop early warning systems to limit the future impact of climate change. This is a joint effort with international partners, to compile a technology-Driven Loss and Damage Atlas that will highlight the stark consequences of climate change and support efforts to mitigate its impact on vulnerable nations. Our aim to widen the availability of early warning systems for hazardous events such as extreme weather, water security issues and other climate-related events.

This year, The UAE will host the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (the COP28) in November 2023 at Expo City Dubai to unite the world towards agreement on bold, practical, and ambitious solutions to the most pressing global challenge of our time.

This edition of COP will promote space capabilities and provide opportunities for the Space Sector to foster and show the world and raise awareness of space applications in mitigating climate and environmental challenges.

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 and importance of using outer space in a spirit of responsibility and transparency, and to curb the arms race in outer space.

We believe the space programs will foster further international cooperation, through collaborative initiatives, and joint development. the UAE has contributed to advancing scientific research, technological innovation, and the sharing of knowledge.

We will also continue to strengthen global efforts to ensure the long-term sustainability of the space sector through our participation. Our aim is not just to explore space science but also to develop advanced technologies that will be of paramount importance for the progress and welfare of all humankind.

Thank you Mr. Chair.