Qatar has called on countries to reaffirm their commitments to operate in outer space activities in accordance with international law and international regulations.
The Gulf nation requested that countries with the biggest capabilities in the field of outer space use it exclusively for peaceful purposes and in a sustainable manner.
Jamal bin Abdulrahman Al Jaber, on behalf of the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the United Nations and International Organizations in Vienna, made the statement at the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space’s 60th session currently underway in Vienna.
In his statement, Al Jaber expressed concern about the possibility of the arms race moving to outer space under the current tense international atmosphere and the escalated arms race, especially in light of the increase in space-faring countries.
Referring to the State of Qatar’s National Vision 2030, Al Jaber reiterated Qatar’s interest in testing sustainable social and economic development by utilizing space technology.
In September 2022, Qatar University launched the “Global Space Challenge for Sustainability” contest in order to reach United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 through space exploration and technology to help global sustainability efforts on earth. Qatar University’s College of Business and Economics is also establishing a space science innovations laboratory.
Qatar signed a joint cooperation project with NASA, the US Space Agency to “design and launch a satellite to study climate; the effects of climate change; groundwater resources and their properties at a depth of 50 meters from the earth’s surface; and measuring the impact of rising sea levels on the desert and dry regions, which include the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa in addition to several other tasks related to addressing climate change and promoting sustainable development” according to Qatar’s News Agency, QNA. The satellite is forecast to be launched in 2025.
Qatar’s statement further stressed the pivotal role of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs in protecting outer space for exploration and peaceful uses, for social, environmental, economic and scientific purposes, especially for the benefit of developing countries.