The message reads, in part:
“In Russia we are rightly proud that the first significant step in space exploration was taken by our compatriot Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961. This was one of the most dramatic and momentous events of the 20th century which opened a new chapter in the history of humanity.
Over the past fifty years, space exploration has seen a series of significant achievements. These include the spacewalk, building orbital stations, performing a great number of scientific and technological experiments, and flights to other planets. Yet, just as important is the development of close, open and productive international cooperation in the interests of global peace and progress.
Through such cooperation, Soyuz-Apollo, Interkosmos and Mir-Shuttle large-scale multilateral programmes and projects have been implemented, and the International Space Station is operating successfully.
Every year on April 12, Russia celebrates Cosmonautics Day as a tribute to common achievements in space exploration, the courage and audacity of astronauts, and the many years of efforts by scientists, designers and engineers. From now on, this day will be universally recognised as International Human Space Flight Day.
I am confident that multilateral cooperation in exploration and peaceful use of outer space will embrace an even greater number of countries, and contribute to integrating efforts for addressing global challenges and advancing scientific and technological progress of the humanity. Indeed, as distinguished spacecraft designer Sergei Korolev said, ‘the future of space exploration is limitless and its prospects are infinite, just like the Universe’.
I wish all session participants a fruitful discussion and the very best.”
The President’s message was read out by Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations and Representative of the Russian Federation at the UN Security Council.