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Joint Statement on U.S.-Philippines Space Dialogue

The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the Philippines at the inaugural U.S.-Philippines Space Dialogue.

As called for in the May 2023 U.S.-Philippines Joint Leaders’ Statement, the United States and the Philippines held the first bilateral Space Dialogue in Washington, D.C. on May 2, 2024. The U.S.-Philippines Space Dialogue is a platform designed to strengthen cooperation and advance bilateral exchanges in civil space matters including the use of space for maritime domain awareness and space situational awareness. It represents an expansion of U.S.-Philippines cooperation into outer space, including the use of space-based Earth observation satellite data for a wide variety of socio-economic applications.

In their welcome and keynote messages, Jennifer R. Littlejohn, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; Chirag Parikh, Executive Secretary of the National Space Council; and Joel Joseph Marciano Jr., Director General of the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) and Head of the Philippine Mission to the United States on Space Science and Technology Applications, expressed their confidence that the inaugural Space Dialogue will deepen space cooperation for the benefit of the peoples of both countries.

The U.S. delegation to the Space Dialogue was led by Rahima Kandahari, Deputy Assistant Secretary, State Department Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, and the Philippine delegation by Gay Jane Perez, Deputy Director General for Space Science and Technology of PhilSA.

Both sides agreed that Earth observation is a priority area for bilateral cooperation. They discussed a range of programs that use satellites to better forecast weather patterns; support agricultural and infrastructure planning; help monitor and combat climate change and pollution; prepare for and respond to disasters; improve natural resource use; and provide vital telecommunications services. They agreed to consider the possible hosting in the Philippines of a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Landsat ground station, and the Philippines expressed interest in possible expansion of cooperation, through programs such as the joint USAID-NASA SERVIR program, which expanded last year to include the Philippines.

The delegations recognized the potential for expanded cooperation on the use of space for maritime domain awareness, including through the U.S. Department of Transportation-led SeaVision program. Such programs can help monitor and document vessels in the Philippines’ territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone, ensure the safety of mariners at sea, monitor and help protect the environment, and help combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The delegations also highlighted efforts to expand the provision of satellite-enabled broadband Internet services to remote and underserved areas of the Philippines, including a PhilSA initiative in cooperation with USAID BEACON, leveraging U.S. commercial low-earth orbit communication satellites.

Both countries reviewed joint efforts to promote the long-term sustainability of outer space activities. This includes work in the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS) and other UN bodies, and in regional forums such as ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF). The Philippines expressed that it is considering signing on to the Artemis Accords, which establish guidelines to ensure safety and responsible behavior in outer space as countries explore the Moon and beyond. The two countries agreed to stay in close communication on expanding commercial space ties and space situational awareness (SSA), as U.S. responsibilities for civil and commercial SSA shift in the coming years from the Department of Defense to Department of Commerce. Both sides recognized the importance of addressing space debris.

Both countries agreed to work together to expand bilateral exchange and training programs on the use of Earth observation satellite data, development of space applications and technologies and other space science and skills, including fellowships, scholarships and internship programs. The two sides highlighted the launch of Fulbright-PhilSA space science scholarships, and agreed to enhance exchanges under that agreement. The two sides agreed to explore collaborative education and capacity building efforts through PhilSA’s Advanced Degrees for Accelerating Strategic Space R&D and Applications (AD ASTRA) scholarship program, NASA’s DEVELOP and other programs, and U.S. State Department exchange and speaker programs.

Both countries agreed to continue to work together in the areas mentioned above and to explore other collaboration such as space industry sector development, including at the next U.S.-Philippines Space Dialogue, to be held in the Philippines at a mutually-agreed upon future date.

Official news published at https://www.state.gov/joint-statement-on-u-s-philippines-space-dialogue/

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