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Iran calls for preventing arms races in outer space

New York, United Nations, Oct 25, IRNA - Iran's Representative to the UN, Hossein Maleki, here Wednesday urged all states, in particular those with major space capabilities, to actively participate in all efforts aiming at preventing arms races in outer space.

Maleki, Counselor Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the UN, made the remark while addressing the 4th Committee of the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly on International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.

Space technology can be highly useful in risk assessment, mitigation and preparedness phases of disaster management, he said adding that many countries in developing world including Iran are subject to catastrophic and severe natural disasters like earthquakes, landslides, draughts and floods.

"Although the synoptic and control of natural disasters is beyond the scope of human technical abilities and knowledge, losses and damages from natural disasters could be prevented or mitigated by using the means such as early warning systems," he reiterated.

"Regarding the implementation of programs on the use of outer space, the Islamic Republic of Iran is fully committed to cooperate with other member states in this regard. To this end Iran continues to support the UNISPACE III and the work of the Action Teams established for the implementation of its recommendation," he said.

As to Iran's active participation in different working groups including the one on Disaster Management, he said the Iranian Space Agency (ISA) has been contributing to capacity building and promoting space science and technology applications in the society. "This agency provides considerable support to the academic circles in setting up university courses, workshops and seminars," he said.

"We fully support the implementation of the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (SPIDER) which has been established to provide all countries and all relevant regional and international organizations with universal access to all types of space-based information and services relevant to disaster management to cover the full disaster management cycle.

"By implementing this program, we are hopeful that developing countries, particularly those countries which suffer from frequent natural disasters, will benefit from the program for the management of natural disasters and other legitimate purposes," the Iranian envoy stressed.

"On the space law and legal issues, we believe that through cooperation in the scientific, technical and legal fields related to outer space activities, all nations can play a role to ensure that outer space is maintained for peaceful purposes. In this regard, we emphasize the importance of space law for the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and support international cooperation in developing the rule of law in this regard. We also welcome close cooperation with UNESCO in its work on legal and ethical linkages and issues in space achievements," Maleki emphasized.

The Iranian envoy, elsewhere in his speech said, "The Islamic Republic of Iran has been playing a significant role in enhancing international and regional cooperation particularly in the Asia-Pacific Region on the space science and technology for economic and social development with a specific emphasis on disaster management."

"We are of the strong view that our human community can more and better benefit from space technology provided that it is not diverted to and used for the military purposes and if we all are committed to maintain outer space free from military rivalries and competitions," he said.

It is clear that placement of weapons in outer space will inevitably lead to mistrust and tension among states and will undermine the climate of trust and cooperation, Maleki said adding, "Indeed, outer space is a valuable asset of mankind and thus it should by no means be used to pose threat to our societies."

"We are confident that through a firm commitment from all nations, the Space Applications program can achieve its primary objective of putting space technology to work for sustainable economic and social development in different fields such as communications, remote sensing and its applications in air and marine pollution, development of agricultural and green cover resources, ozone layer control and so on."

He further emphasized that outer space is a mankind asset with great potential to benefit all.

"We strongly believe that all nations must take extensive care of outer space and that all nations should be able to use it irrespective of the size of their countries, economies or scientific developments," the Iranian envoy concluded.

... Payvand News - 10/25/07 ... --

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