The First Meeting of the Council of APSCO was convened in Beijing, China from 16 to 17 December 2008. The following accredited ministers/ ministerial representatives from nine Member States and Signatory States of APSCO attended the Meeting, namely Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Peru, Thailand and Turkey. The representative of UN-ESCAP attended the Meeting as observer.
Regarding to the election of the Chairman and Vice-Chairmen of the Council, the Interim Secretariat of APSCO informed the participants about the presentation made by the Interim Secretary-General on the Second Meetings of the Ad-Hoc Committees for Financial Arrangements and Service Regulations, which were held in Bangkok, Thailand from 19 to 21 August 2008, mentioning that the two Meetings of the Interim Council of APSCO were chaired by Thailand, which were held in October 2005 and November 2006 respectively. The delegates of the Ad-Hoc Committees unanimously agreed that in order to maintain the continuity in the decision-making process and ensure the implementation of the relevant programs of APSCO, Thailand should continue as the Chairman of the APSCO Council for a two-year term starting immediately after the election; and the two Vice-Chairmen shall be elected by rotation in an alphabetical order of the Member States of APSCO. After the first two-year term, the Chairman and Vice-Chairmen of the Council shall be elected by rotation in an alphabetical order of the Member States of APSCO, and no Member State could occupy more than one position of the Chairman and Vice-Chairmen simultaneously. This procedure shall provide an equal opportunity to every Member State to have these slots in their turn.
In view of the above recommendation, the participants of the Council Meeting unanimously elected the following persons for positions as indicated against each:
(1) Mr. Angsumal Sunalai, Deputy Permanent Secretary of MICT, Thailand as the Chairman of the APSCO Council;
(2) Mr. Kamrul Hasan, the Secretary of MOD, Bangladesh as the First Vice-Chairman of the APSCO Council;
(3) Dr. Sun Laiyan, Administrator of CNSA, China as the Second Vice-Chairman of the APSCO Council.
Regarding to the nomination of the Secretary-General of the Secretariat of APSCO, the APSCO Council considered the proposal for the appointment of Dr. Zhang Wei as the Secretary-General of APSCO, whose nomination was proposed by the Government of China. The Chairman of the APSCO Council asked the delegates for their comments. The delegates unanimously agreed to Dr. Zhang Wei as the Secretary-General of APSCO for an initial period of five years starting immediately after his appointment.
The Council approved the Report of the Secretary-General of APSCO on the Activities of the Interim Secretariat of APSCO since the last (Second) Meeting of the Interim Council of APSCO, which included the proposed Plan of Activities for the year 2009.
The Council confirmed the Minutes of the last (Second) Meeting of the Interim Council of APSCO which was held in Beijing, China from 27 to 29 November 2006.
The Council accorded formal approval to the decisions made by the Interim Council of APSCO in its First and Second Meetings which were held in Beijing on 29 October 2005 and from 27 to 29 November 2006 respectively.
The Council accorded approval to the following Working Documents for APSCO, with the modifications proposed by the Council Members, in Article-2 and Article-7 of the Financial Regulations, and Article-5 and Article-7 of the Service Regulations of APSCO:
(i) Rules of Procedures of APSCO Council (cf. Article ¨C 12 of the APSCO Convention);
(ii) Financial Regulations of APSCO (cf. Article ¨C 18 of the APSCO Convention);
(iii) Service Regulations of APSCO (cf. Article ¨C 12 of the APSCO Convention).
The Council accorded approval to the Budget Estimates of APSCO for the Financial Year 2009 as well as Assessment of the Proportions of the Financial Contributions of Member States of APSCO.
The following project proposals were approved in principle. However, before their implementation, the feasibility study of each project and other essential elements, such as the financial implications, period of completion, the principal investigator, etc. for each project should also be prepared for the approval of the Council:
¡¤ Proposal for Spatial Data Sharing Service Platform and Its Application Pilot Project.
¡¤ Proposal for APSCO Applied High-Resolution Satellite Project.
¡¤ Research on Atmospheric Effects on:
(i) Ka-Band Rain Attenuation Modeling; and
(ii) Ionospheric Modeling through Study of Radio Wave Propagation and Solar Activity.
¡¤ Development of Asia-Pacific Ground-Based Optical Satellite Observation System (APOSOS).
¡¤ Feasibility Study of the Applications of Compatible Navigation Terminal System.
¡¤ Education and Training in the Applications of Satellite Remote Sensing Data, in particular from HJ-1 (SMMS) and Thailand Earth Observation Satellite (THEOS).
The Council also decided:
¡¤ While formulating the feasibility study for implementation of these project proposals, the following elements should be kept in view:
(ii) Priority for advanced & state-of-the-art technology innovation;
(iii) Avoiding duplication;
(iv) Integrated and comprehensive consideration.
¡¤ For implementation mechanism of priority projects in 2009, the following points should be taken into account:
(iv) Benefit rewarding.
¡¤ For implementation of the Pilot Project on Spatial Data Sharing Service Platform and Its Application, the following elements may also be kept in view by the Member States:
(i) Respect the data policy of each Member State;
(ii) Should involve more Member States for participation in;
(iii) Standard format.
The APSCO Council directed the Secretariat to make certain modifications in the LOGO keeping in view of the suggestions by the Council Members, and put up again for approval of the Council through email.
The Inauguration Ceremony of APSCO
On 16 December 2008, the Inauguration Ceremony of APSCO was held in Diaoyutai State Guest House, Beijing, China prior to the First Council Meeting. Delegates from nine Member States and Signatory States of APSCO attended the Ceremony, namely Bangladesh, China, Iran, Indonesia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Peru, Thailand and Turkey. Representatives from Argentina, Malaysia, Philippines, Russian Federation and Sri Lanka were invited to be the observer to participate in the Ceremony.
During the Ceremony, Mr. Li Yizhong, Minister of MIIT of China, read the Congratulatory Letter from Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang, and together with Mr. Angsumal Sunalai, Chairman of the APSCO Council, Deputy Permanent Secretary of MICT of Thailand, unveiled the official plaque of APSCO.
The Letter of Congratulation from Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang to the Establishment of APSCO
On the occasion of the Inaugural Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO), I would like to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Government, our warm congratulations to APSCO, and sincere welcome to the Esteemed Guests from all countries at the Meeting.
APSCO is the first International Inter-governmental Organization in Asia-Pacific Region which devotes the efforts to promote the regional space cooperation. Since the Cooperative Initiative on Space Multilateral Cooperation in Asia-Pacific Region and the Conception on the Establishment of APSCO were proposed jointly by China, Thailand and Pakistan in 1992, the Governments of all countries have made concerted efforts with sincere cooperation for the setting up of the Organization, and achieved substantial results. I believe that APSCO will inevitably have far-reaching impact on the development of space activities, and the promotion of space science and technology, as well as the important role in deepening multilateral cooperation in Asia-Pacific Region.
The Chinese Government has all along regarded the space industry as an integral part of the state¡¯s comprehensive development strategy, and attached great importance to the strengthening of international cooperation and exchanges. Being the Host Government of APSCO, the Chinese Government will continue actively to support the work of this Organization, and be willing to work with the Governments of all countries to make new and even greater contributions in the aspects of expanding exchanges and cooperation with all countries in Asia-Pacific Region in the fields of peaceful uses of outer space; promoting regional space capability enhancement and the space industry development; facilitating the regional economic and social development and prosperity, and benefiting to the mankind.