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Remarks by Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary (CPV&OIA) & BRICS Sherpa at the Virtual Signing Ceremony and Heads of BRICS Space Agencies Meeting

August 18, 2021

Excellencies,
Mr. Carlos De Moura, President of Brazilian Space Agency
Dr. Dmitry Rogozin, Director General of Russian Space Cooperation (ROSCOSMOS)
Mr. Zhang Kejian, Administrator of Chinese Space Agency
Dr. Val Munsami, CEO of South African Space Agency
Dr. K Sivan, Chairman, ISRO
Mr. R Umamaheswaran, Scientific Secretary, ISRO

Good Afternoon from New Delhi!


1. At the outset, allow me, as the BRICS Sherpa, to extend a very warm welcome to you on behalf of the India BRICS Team. This is a proud moment and we are truly excited about the possibilities, for space, they say, is the final frontier.

2. As the current Chair of BRICS in 2021, we have maintained momentum on intra-BRICS cooperation across all three pillars of our engagement, namely - Political & Security, Economic & Financial and Cultural & People to People- despite the continuing challenges of the pandemic. The theme for our Chairship - ‘BRICS@15: Intra-BRICS cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus’ is a fitting tribute to the 15th anniversary milestone of BRICS and is reflective of BRICS priorities in this era of transformation.

3. We are grateful to our BRICS partners for extending their full support to the priorities chosen by us, which include Reform of the Multilateral System; Counter Terrorism Cooperation; Using Digital and Technological Solutions for achieving SDGs and Enhancing People to People Exchanges. I am pleased to share with you that BRICS has made strong progress on each of these areas this year. The finalization and adoption of the Agreement on the BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation is a significant feather in our cap and an important milestone for BRICS engagement. It will play an important role in improving the lives of our citizens in numberous ways.

4. Today’s meeting of Heads of Space Agencies and the Signing Ceremony will bring into force this Agreement which has been under negotiation for over four years. While I am pleased that the Agreement has finally been concluded under India’s Chairship this year, I wish to acknowledge and express my gratitude for the tremendous work done by previous Chairs of BRICS over the past few years in helping us inch closer to consensus. This Agreement is our collective achievement and for that please accept my heartiest congratulations.

5. As you are aware, for you have crafted this Agreement of cooperation, the BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Agreement will help accelerate cooperation between BRICS countries in the peaceful use of outer space with use of data and applications across an array of sectors such as research on global climate change, agriculture and food security, disaster management and water resource management, amongst others. This will be a significant contribution of BRICS towards the socio-economic development of our countries and peoples and would help us advance our targets on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and its goals. This is also a fitting example of the work we are pursuing under the priority area of using digital tools for achieving SDGs. This achievement will naturally find applause when BRICS leaders meet for the BRICS Summit next month.

6. I am confident that this marks only the beginning of our cooperation and collaboration on exploring the peaceful use of outer space for the socio-economic development of our people in areas defined under this Agreement. I look forward to hearing your views on the future prospects for our engagement including on space cooperation and capacity building and sharing, and wish you all the best for a fruitful and productive meeting today.

 

Thank you!
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