6 Nov 2019 12:42

UN GA committee approves 3 resolutions against space arms race submitted by Russia

NEW YORK (UN). Nov 6 (Interfax) - The First Committee of the UN General Assembly (Disarmament and International Security) on Tuesday adopted three resolutions on disarmament in space which were previously submitted by Russia, an Interfax correspondent reported.

The documents were approved by a majority of votes, but the United States voted against the Russian projects in each case. The adopted resolutions will be discussed at a plenary session of the UN GA later in December.

In the first document, entitled No first placement of weapons in outer space, the authors (Russia, China, Syria, Kazakhstan, Egypt, North Korea, Cuba, and ten other countries) confirmed the need to study and take practical measures when drafting agreements to prevent an arms race in space and expressed serious concerns about outer space being turned into an area of conflict.

The text of the resolution encourages "all states, especially spacefaring nations, to consider the possibility of undertaking political commitments not to be the first to place weapons in outer space." Over 120 countries voted for the document.

The second resolution, proposed by Russia, is titled Further practical measures for the prevention of an arms race in outer space. It urges the international community to continue its efforts to prevent an arms race, including the deployment of weapons, in outer space to maintain international peace and strengthen global security.

The authors of the resolution (23 countries, including Russia, China, Belarus, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Syria) said they are seriously concerned about the plans announced by some states that include the deployment of weapons to, in particular, attack military systems, in outer space.

The document was approved by 124 countries, with 40 countries voting against it.

The third document, Transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities, was supported by over 160 countries. It reaffirms the right of all states to study and use outer space in accordance with international law.

The authors of the resolution - China, Cuba, Russia, Syria, and Surinam - recommend that the member states continue considering and taking on a voluntary basis, using relevant national mechanisms, transparency and confidence-building measures to the maximally possible and feasible degree and in accordance with the national interests of the member states.

Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Andrei Belousov said at a meeting of the First Committee on Tuesday that prevention of an arms race in outer space was a priority of his delegation.

"The United States is trying to force on us their rules and the idea of their sole domination in space," Belousov said.

The U.S. representative said there are various points of view on how to maintain peace and security in space. He also said the U.S. prefers outer space to stay free of conflicts.