Press Releases

     

    SG/SM/8948
    OS/1792
    17 October 2003

    SECRETARY-GENERAL CONGRATULATES PEOPLE OF CHINA ON
    SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION OF FIRST MANNED SPACE MISSION

      NEW YORK, 16 October (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the conclusion of China’s first manned space flight:

    The United Nations is pleased to announce that following a formal request by the People's Republic of China to the Secretary-General, two United Nations flags were provided for flight on China's first manned space mission, as a symbol of its “firm commitment to use outer space for peaceful purposes and for the betterment of all humankind”.

    A small flag was shown on camera during the mission and a large 4 by 6 foot flag was stowed aboard the spacecraft prior to launch.  Both flags, having completed 14 orbits around the Earth, will be returned to the Secretary-General at a future event.

    The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, based in Vienna, served as the leading agency and worked closely with the China Manned Space Engineering Programme Office, the China National Space Administration and the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations (Vienna) to ensure the activity was a success.

    The Secretary-General extends his warm congratulations to yuhangyuan Yang Liwei and the people of China on the successful conclusion of this historic mission and hopes that it will usher in a new era of international cooperation in the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space.

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