In accordance with Article ®C 29 of the APSCO Convention, the Convention shall enter into force when at least five States in the Asia-Pacific Region, which are Members of the United Nations, have signed it and have deposited with the Host Government their instruments of ratification or acceptance. Pending the fulfillment of this condition, the accredited ministers / ministerial representatives from the Signatory States held a close-door meeting immediately after the signing ceremony of APSCO Convention to discuss the issues on setting up the Interim Council of APSCO.
The meeting was chaired by Mr. Zhang Yunchuan, Minister of COSTIND, who elucidated about the necessity for such a decision at this juncture. After discussion, the decision was unanimously adopted to set up the Interim Council of APSCO with effect on 28 October 2005 to conduct all affairs of APSCO until the formal establishment of the APSCO Council. The decision further stipulated the composition, validity, functions, chairmanship, voting procedure, etc. in respect of the Interim Council of APSCO.
The decision was made by the meeting that the composition, the functions of the Interim Council and other related matters shall include, but not limited to, the followings:
The Interim Council shall be composed of ministers or ministerial representatives of the national space agencies of the Signatory States to the Convention of APSCO. Any State that signs the APSCO Convention after the setting up of the Interim Council shall become Member of the Interim Council.
The APSCO Interim Council shall perform its functions until the APSCO Council is established after the entry into force of APSCO Convention.
The Interim Council shall discuss issues relating to the establishment of APSCO and take necessary measures in this regard including preparation of necessary documents on legal aspects, financial arrangements, program planning, etc. to be adopted eventually by the APSCO Council.
The Interim Council shall elect, from amongst its Members, a Chairman and two Vice-Chairmen, each for a term in office until the full-fledged APSCO Council is established. The tenure of office of Chairman and the Vice-Chairmen shall begin immediately after their election in the First Meeting of the Interim Council.
Each Signatory State shall have one vote in the Interim Council. Unless otherwise unanimously agreed by the Interim Council, it shall make every effort to reach decisions upon matters by consensus.
The Interim Council shall meet as and when required but at least once annually. The meetings shall be held in the Host State of APSCO.
The First Meeting of the Interim Council
The First Meeting of the Interim Council of APSCO was held in Beijing, China on 29 October 2005. The ministerial representatives of the Signatory States to the APSCO Convention attended the Meeting, namely Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Peru and Thailand. Representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Russia and Ukraine were invited to be the observers.
Representatives from Member States elected Mr. Kraisorn Pornsutee, Permanent Secretary-General of MICT of Thailand as the Chairman of the Interim Council; Mr. Sun Laiyan, Administrator of CNSA of China, and Mr. Raza Hussain, Chairman of SUPARCO of Pakistan as the Vice Chairmen of the Interim Council.
Regarding to Agenda Item No. 4 of the Meeting, the Adoption of the Draft Resolution to Invite the Secretariat of the Asia-Pacific Multilateral Cooperation in Space Technology and Applications (AP-MCSTA) to work as the Interim Secretariat of the Interim Council of APSCO, the Meeting decided to invite the Interim Secretariat of APSCO to deal with the daily affairs of the Interim Council until the formal establishment of APSCO after the entry into force of the APSCO Convention. The Secretary-General of the Secretariat of AP-MCSTA was invited to be the Secretary-General of the Interim Secretariat of APSCO as well.
Regarding to Agenda Item No. 5 of the Meeting, the Interim Council noted that several Working Documents would be required to properly initiate the operation of APSCO. The Interim Council discussed the matter in details and made following decisions:
a) The Ad-Hoc Committees should be open-ended;
b) Initially three priority subjects were selected for formulating Working Documents for APSCO: (i) Service Regulations; (ii) Financial Rules and Financial Regulations; and (iii) Program Planning for Basic Activities of APSCO;
c) The Pro-Tempore Secretary-General was to act as the Coordinator in this regard, in order to formulate the appropriate Working Documents with the active assistance of the relevant experts from the Signatory States to the APSCO Convention;
d) The Secretariat should provide the terms of reference (TOR), as well as the preliminary draft of the Documents mentioned above as soon as possible, to the Ad-Hoc Committees to facilitate their work.
The Second Meeting of the Interim Council
The Second Meeting of the Interim Council of APSCO was held in Beijing, China from 28 to 29 November 2006. 25 representatives from the Signatory States to the APSCO Convention attended the Meeting, namely Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Peru, Thailand and Turkey. Observers from Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Sri Lanka were invited to present the Opening Ceremony of the Meeting.
Mr. Kraisorn Pornsutee, Permanent Secretary-General of the MICT of Thailand, presided over the Meeting as the Chairman of the Interim Council. Mr. Raza Hussain, Chairman of SUPARCO of Pakistan, chaired the discussion of legal documents as the Vice Chairman of the Interim Council.
The Interim Council welcomed the new Signatory State of Turkey and accorded formal acceptance for it to be a Member of the Interim Council of ASPCO in accordance with paragraph 2 (a) of the Decision adopted by the Meeting of Ministers / Ministerial Representatives to establish the Interim Council of ASPCO immediately after Signing Ceremony of the APSCO Convention.
The Interim Council asked the Interim Secretariat to circulate the draft of the Proceedings of the First Experts Group Meeting of Future Plan on Space Activities and Development Relating to APSCO.
The Interim Council adopted the drafted document of the Rules of Procedures. This drafted document should be formally approved by the APSCO Council when it is formally established.
The Interim Council deliberated and adopted the Working Report made by the Secretary-General of the Interim Secretariat, and the drafted document of Rules of Procedures for APSCO Council. The Consensus was also reached on the Minutes of the Meeting.
The Meeting decided that the Signatory States should provide the desired LOGO samples to the Interim Secretariat in order to make selection which would be forwarded to the Signatory States for their recommendations. The recommended samples would then be submitted to the next Meeting of the Interim Council for a decision.