It is my pleasure to extend my warm congratulations to China on the completion of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System constellation. This historic milestone is a significant step, towards increasing the availability of precise geolocation services through Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) for people all over the world.
Indeed, GNSS plays a huge role in global affairs: supporting activities in finance, aviation, maritime navigation, road traffic management, agriculture, law enforcement, and telecommunication, as well as life-saving, humanitarian work in global emergency response, and search and rescue operations. When applied to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), our research demonstrates that GNSS together with earth observation, is instrumental for nearly 40% of the targets underpinning the SDG implementation. In this context, the services provided by BeiDou are already driving social and economic development around the world.
But there’s always more that we can do. It is a pleasure for the Office for Outer Space Affairs to be able to count upon such strong partners as CSNO in our work to maximize the contribution of space to global social and economic development. At UNOOSA, we understand that the backbone of bringing the benefits of space to everyone, everywhere is international cooperation. That is why we value the great contributions being made through the BeiDou System.
It’s part of our work as executive secretariat to the International Committee on GNSS (ICG). Established in 2005, ICG works to encourage coordination among all GNSS providers to raise global levels of compatibility, transparency and interoperability. It is a model example of how the UN delivers successful international cooperation in space activities. I commend the high levels of continued engagement from China on these matters, not least through the successful hosting of past annual meetings of the ICG in Beijing and more recently in Xi’an just two years ago.
Today, we mark the end of a long journey. Initiated 1994, the BeiDou program has been over 25 years in the making. This result is only possible with a long-standing and sustained commitment to space. Indeed, the completion of the BeiDou program reminds us all: the space is not easy and must always be considered on the long term.
At the UN, our vision of space is also far reaching. As we work together to unlock the fantastic benefits space technology can bring to society, responsible and sustainable space activities are fundamental.