The General Assembly discussed Russia’s veto of a draft resolution on the space arms race

Генеральная Ассамблея обсудила вето России на проект резолюции о гонке космических вооружений

View of Earth from the ISS. The General Assembly discussed Russia’s veto of a draft resolution on the space arms race Peace and security

The UN General Assembly discussed the use of the veto by a permanent member of the Security Council. On April 24, the Russian Federation voted against the American draft resolution on the non-placement of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in space. 

The document called for not developing nuclear weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction intended to be placed in orbit around the Earth, installed on celestial bodies, or placed in outer space in any other way. The draft resolution was introduced by the United States and Japan and supported by more than 60 countries.

General Assembly Vice-Chairman Ahmad Faisal Muhamad opened the debate by reading a message on behalf of GA Chairman Dennis Francis.& nbsp;

“The militarization of outer space is a very alarming trend. Apart from further deepening mistrust and discord, this inevitably threatens life on Earth and could have catastrophic consequences,” he said.

The meeting was held within the framework of the mandate of the General Assembly in accordance with resolution 76/262 to discuss situations related to the veto power in the Security Council held by its five permanent members.

RF committed to its obligations

Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN Vasily Nebenzya stated that the draft resolution “not only did not achieve the goal declared in the title, since it has already been resolved by other international agreements, but it could also lead to far-reaching consequences for the entire disarmament process.” According to him, the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 already contains an unconditional ban on the placement of weapons of mass destruction in space.

“The essence of our efforts was the amendment, which was to call on states to take urgent measures aimed at a complete ban on the placement of all types of weapons in space,” the Russian representative told members of the General Assembly. Let us recall that the amendment proposed by Russia and China was not adopted during the vote.

“Russia remains committed to its obligations under international law. However, we will not indulge someone’s aggressive plans and give the green light to politicized initiatives with a “double bottom,” Nebenzya emphasized. Russia proposed its alternative draft Security Council resolution, he added.

USA: confirm specific commitments

US Deputy Permanent Representative Robert Wood emphasized that the draft resolution was aimed at reaffirming the obligations of all participating states under the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. He explained that the document also calls on UN member states not to develop nuclear weapons specifically designed for deployment in orbit, which would reduce the risk of a nuclear incident in space.

“It should be neither controversial nor difficult for the Security Council to reaffirm the specific obligations of parties to the Outer Space Treaty, nor should it be difficult to ask states to work together for our common interests,” Wood said.

As for the new draft resolution proposed by Russia, the US representative called it a “diplomatic facade.” 


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