Please allow me, at the outset, to congratulate you and other members of the bureau on your election on behalf of the Chinese delegation, and to thank your predecessor Mr Prunariu for his hard work over the past two years. The Chinese delegation commends the efforts of Dr Othman, director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), and her colleagues at the Secretariat in preparing this session.
Last year's jubilee commemorations of COPUOS are still fresh in our memory. Today, we are reunited here to witness the start of another semi-century in the history of COPUOS. In just over 10 days from now, China will be launching her Shenzhou-9, the ninth spacecraft in the "Divine Vessel" family, for China's very first manned space rendezvous and docking with a target vehicle named Tiangong-1 or Heavenly Palace-1.
At this momentous moment bridging the past and the future, as a member state of COPUOS, China extends her best wishes, rejoices at, and is heartened by the promising future and inspiring prospects of COPUOS. On the other hand, China is also acutely aware of the weight of the historical mission and entrustment of our times placed upon COPUOS. As outer space players diversify and the scope of outer space exploration broadens, the space endeavour of humankind is presented with unprecedented opportunities and challenges. In this regard, COPUOS has a great responsibility to fulfil in regulating outer space activities, keeping order in space and promoting space cooperation.
At last year's COPUOS session, China put forward the notion of inclusive development of outer space and its three-prong connotation, that is to say, such development should be inclusive of environmental resources, of all countries and of humankind as a whole.
China is of the view that in our effort to tackle greater challenges facing the world, we should promote inclusive development of outer space. By inclusive development, we mean the kind of development that benefits all countries and all peoples, especially those that do not yet have space capabilities; we also refer to sustainable shared development that enables our generation and future generations to use and share outer space on an equitable basis. These propositions have been put forward by China to meet our common challenges related to outer space on the basis of reviewing our own experience as a developing country that has long been committed to peaceful exploration and use of outer space. They have won the support and endorsement of many developing countries.
The long-term sustainability of outer space activities is an issue that is currently under the spotlight. China attaches great importance to, and is an active participant in, the relevant work of the working group. China believes that solving issues related to outer space sustainability hinges on the inclusive development of outer space. We should give more serious consideration to how to solve these issues in the course of development and how to better share the benefits of outer space endeavour of humankind. We should commit ourselves to using development as a means to solve some sustainability issues such as space debris. This makes it necessary for us to set great store by international cooperation and exchange in the outer space domain, to promote the common development of the outer space endeavour through equitable and open cooperation, to realize mutual benefit and win-win by way of sharing the deliverables in a fair and reasonable manner, and to truly achieve the inclusive development of humankind's outer space endeavour. China calls on the international community to give due regard to the issues I have outlined above.
A thousand-mile journey starts with the first step under our feet. Not only is inclusive development an inspirational vision that China has when looking ahead to the future of humankind's outer space endeavour, but it is also a practical requirement that guides China's outer space activities. The past year has witnessed China consistently holding fast to the notion of inclusive development and conducting her outer space activities in a responsible manner. China has been actively conducting surveillance and early warning on space debris; continually improving and refining relevant standards, laws and management regimes; and comprehensively implementing the passivation of the Long March series launch vehicles. China has conducted de-orbiting of several end-of-life GEO satellites, as part of the steady ongoing debris mitigation effort, to contribute to the long-term sustainability of outer space activities with tangible bona fide actions. Furthermore, through UN-SPIDER Beijing Office and Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO), China has partnered with other countries in such areas as personnel training, capacity building, data sharing and technical services. In addition, China is ready to respond positively to the Human Space Technology Initiative by providing more countries, developing countries in particular, with the opportunity to take part in the construction of the Chinese space station and related research, to partake of the opportunities and fruits created by China's space endeavour.
In the white paper, "China's Space Activities", issued in December 2011, the Chinese Government makes a solemn pledge, that is, to work with the international community to safeguard peaceful and clean outer space and promote inclusive development. I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to reiterate on behalf of the Chinese Government that China will, by upholding the philosophy of harmonious outer space, continue to work with the international community represented by COPUOS and commit ourselves to striving towards inclusive development in the exploration and use of outer space and building an outer space of peace, of development, of cooperation and of rule of law.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.