Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Introductory remarks by Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia at the opening of the photo exhibition dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the launch of the first Earth's artificial satellite

Mr. Secretary-General,

Your Excellencies,

I'm glad to welcome you at today's event dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the space era for all mankind. With this photo exhibition, organized by the Russian Permanent Mission to the UN and the TASS news agency, we tried to embrace the unembraceable and remind about the launch of the first Earth's satellite, and some of the milestones of Soviet unmanned space exploration.

60 year ago today, on October 4, 1957, the PS-1 first artificial satellite was launched from the 5th USSR MoD Scientific research test range, later known as Baikonur Cosmodrome, now in Kazakhstan, becoming the first artificial object to orbit the Earth. This event, made possible due to tireless efforts of a whole team of scientists and engineers led by Sergey Korolev, founder of applied cosmonautics, did not only show the potential of Soviet space industry, but also paved the way for new global-scale scientific discoveries.

The Russian word Sputnik immediately entered all the languages of the world and the headlines of front pages of international newspapers.

People came to realize that humanity that shared one home, one planet now had one goal capable of uniting all peoples – exploration of Earth for the common good. The outer space was becoming an arena for scientific cooperation, and the world science opened new avenues.

The first satellite in human history existed as a space object for a relatively short time, 92 days, having completed 1440 orbits around the Earth. For 21 days the first manmade "moon" was sending signals from the outer space. But they still resound even today as that started a great era of applied space exploration.

It is of special importance for Russia that the replica of the first Earth's satellite is exhibited at the UN headquarters. For many years, the United Nations has proven its leading role in the successful development of international space cooperation. The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its Subcommittees have earned a reputation of reliable platforms for discussion of relevant scientific and technological, and legal issues of space activities. Today's agenda features such important issues as long-term sustainability of space activities, exploration of space resources, and safety of space operations.

The number of objects and events in outer space is increasing with each year. In this connection, Russia has launched the initiative to create under the auspices of the United Nations an information platform that would make it possible to take inventory of space objects and provide the participants of space activities with precise and quality information.

One of the threats to the global peace and security, which the international community has to address, is weaponization of outer space. In this context, our objective is to keep outer space free from weapons of any kind to ensure its peaceful use and exploration by all the countries without any discrimination. Therefore, in February 2008, the Russian Federation together with China tabled at the Conference on Disarmament a draft treaty on the prevention of placement of weapons in outer space, the threat or use of force against outer space objects.

It is important and symbolic that the United Nations plays a key role as the framework for norm-setting in international space cooperation and, hence, this exhibition belongs here.

Thank you for your attention.