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U.S. Statement – Agenda Item 14 – 66th Session of the UN COPUOS
As Prepared for U.S. Representative Kevin Conole, Vienna, Austria, June 8, 2023

U.S. Statement as Prepared for U.S. Representative Kevin Conole – Agenda Item 14 – Space Exploration and Innovation
Vienna, Austria, June 8, 2023


Thank you, Chair. The United States appreciates the work of the Action Team on Global Partnership in Space Exploration and Innovation, which was co-chaired by the United States, China, and Jordan, and was yet another example of how the exploration of space brings the world together. The Action Team’s report (A/AC.105/1168) was the first-ever UN report emphasizing the importance of human space exploration beyond low-Earth orbit. The United States notes Section 4, on “Fostering dialogue with the space industry and the private sector,” which highlights the value that private industry adds to space exploration.


Another recommendation from that report was that “all States should conduct their space exploration activities taking into account the long-term sustainable and peaceful uses of outer space.”  To this end, the Artemis Accords establish a common framework to guide space exploration cooperation.  The Accords reaffirm our commitment to act in compliance with and implement our obligations under the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 and other applicable international agreements. We are also committed to the implementation of the 21 Guidelines for the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, as they represent best practices for the safe and responsible use of space.


Human activities in space are more advanced, more exciting, and more international than ever. Last week, my delegation made a technical presentation to this Committee on the United States Cislunar Science and Technology Strategy.  As this Strategy notes, “Existing standards and organizational bodies, including those in the United Nations system of committees and specialized agencies, already impact the use of Cislunar space.” In this regard, the U.S. government will continue to work through these bodies, maintaining and promoting with international partners the availability of resources in Cislunar space for the full range of scientific activities. Chair, my delegation takes note of the Romanian proposal for assessing lunar coordination mechanisms outlined in CRP 8 and look forward to sharing our views at the STSC.


Chair, we are embarking on a historic effort of human space exploration. Artemis demonstrates our ability to push the boundaries of human achievement. It’s a message to the world. We choose to go back to the Moon – and on to Mars – and we are doing it together. We will unlock new knowledge and understanding. The James Webb Space Telescope is giving humanity a view of our universe that we have never seen before. From the formation of new stars to devouring black holes, this telescope is revealing all this and more.


NASA is leveraging human space exploration in low-Earth orbit with commercial and international partners to enable missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. International Space Station missions are a catalyst for economic development and the advancement of scientific knowledge and new technologies that improve our lives. The Gateway is a key component of our exploration architecture and will help make sustainable lunar operations more productive. Together with international and commercial partners, we will use the Gateway and the lunar surface to conduct scientific research, develop and demonstrate technology, and train crews to operate further from Earth for longer periods of time.


The successful Artemis I mission set the stage for the selection of the Artemis II crew, which is comprised of a woman and men from NASA and the Canadian Space Agency. The mission will carry more than four astronauts; it will carry the hopes of millions from around the world.


So together, let us continue to turn science fiction into science fact.


Together, we will usher in a new era of exploration for a new generation of star sailors and dreamers – the Artemis Generation.


Together, we are going – to the Moon, to Mars, and beyond!


Thank you, Chair.


66th Session of the COPUOS – Agenda Item 14 – U.S. Statement – U.S. Representative Kevin Conole – June 2023 (PDF)