N 7 - 12.04.2011
PRESS-RELEASE / COMMUNIQUE POUR LES MEDIAS
12 April 1961 - the date of the first human space flight, carried out by Yuri GAGARIN, a Soviet cosmonaut. This historical event opened the way for space exploration for the benefit of all humanity
The Address of the President of the Russian Federation Mr D. Medvedev to the participants of the UN
General Assembly session on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight into Space
The President of the Russian Federation Mr Dmitry Medvedev sent his greetings to the participants of the
65th special session of the UN General Assembly in New York on the occasion of the 50th
Anniversary of the First Human Mission into Space.
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.
* * *
In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the first human space flight on the initiative of the Russian
Federation the General Assembly by its resolution A/RES/65/271 of 7 April 2011 declared 12 April as the
International Day of Human Space Flight (attached).
United Nations A/RES/65/271
Agenda item 50
International cooperation in the
peaceful uses of outer space
Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominican
Republic, Egypt, Fiji, Ghana, Hungary, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic,
Montenegro, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovenia, Syrian
Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam and Zimbabwe
International Day of Human Space Flight
The General Assembly,
Deeply convinced of the common interest of mankind in promoting and expanding the exploration and use of
outer space, as the province of all mankind, for peaceful purposes and in continuing efforts to extend to all States
the benefits derived there from,
Attaching great importance to international cooperation in peaceful space activities, for which the United
Nations should continue to provide a focal point,
Recalling that 12 April 1961 was the date of the first human space flight, carried out by Yuri Gagarin, a
Soviet citizen born in Russia, and acknowledging that this historic event opened the way for space exploration for the
benefit of all mankind,
Welcoming the fact that the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space will celebrate at its fifty-fourth
session the fiftieth anniversary of the first session of the Committee and the fiftieth anniversary of human space
1. Declares 12 April the International Day of Human Space Flight to celebrate each year at the international
level the beginning of the space era for mankind, reaffirming the important contribution of space science and
technology in achieving sustainable development goals and increasing the well-being of States and peoples, as well as
ensuring the realization of their aspiration to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes.