Statement to UNGA 78 – Fourth Committee
Agenda item 48: International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space
New York, 27 October 2022
The rapid development of space activities over the last years testifies the need to protect space as a common good. To this end, it remains important that States, while exploring its growing potential, promote peaceful uses of outer space, based on effective cooperation and a multilateral approach, for present and future generations.
As my delegation stressed on various occasion, this means that State’s conduct in outer space must be accompanied by a profound commitment to peace and a shared responsibility to ensure that it remains a place where the common good of humanity takes precedence over narrow, national and commercial interests. It is therefore imperative that this Committee continues to build upon the principles set forth in the Outer Space Treaty, which has served since its inception as the cornerstone for international conduct in this increasingly important domain.
As space exploration advances, its benefits must be shared equitably among all nations, particularly those with limited resources. Thus, the commercial use of space should not exacerbate existing inequalities, but instead serve as a platform for global cooperation and solidarity, as a means to promote integral development, scientific research and education.
In this context, the Holy See wishes to highlight the critical importance of environmental stewardship in activities in outer space. It is imperative that humanity acts as a responsible custodian of the cosmos, as it should for our own planet. In particular, the debris generated by space activities poses a significant threat to both natural and artificial space objects, and it is the collective duty of all spacefaring States to mitigate such risk and safeguard both low-earth orbit and the more remote regions of outer space.
In conclusion, the Holy See calls upon all nations represented here to recommit to the values of cooperation and responsible stewardship as in their exploration and use of outer space. As Pope Paul VI said already back in 1968, “using for their benefit the resources offered by the exploration of outer space means working simultaneously for the advancement of mankind, for justice for peace.”
Thank you, Madam Chair.
 Pope Paul VI, Message to the Conference on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space, 6 August 1968.