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Statements in International Organisations


Conference on Disarmament - First Part: EU response to Russian proposal of the draft PPWT (Geneva, 23 January - 28 March 2008)

Statement by the Representative of the Republic of Slovenia on behalf of the European Union

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Mr. President,

I have the honour to take the floor on behalf of the European Union. As it is the first time that I take the floor under your Presidency, I would like to begin by congratulating you on the assumption of the post as the President of the Conference on Disarmament. 

  1. The EU and its Member States recognize ever growing dependence on outer space for their economic and industrial progress and development, as well as for ensuring their security. Hence, the long-standing position of the EU Member States in the CD which favours the enhancement of multilateral framework concerning the preservation of security in outer space. The EU thanks Foreign Minister Lavrov for having presented, on behalf of the Russian Federation and the Peoples’ Republic of China, the proposal for a draft PPWT.
  2. In that context, the EU Member States emphasize that further substantive discussion concerning space issues will take place when the proposed programme of work of the CD is agreed. The EU urges all remaining CD members to join consensus.
  3. Concerning the draft PPWT, some EU Member States have had the opportunity to provide informally their preliminary views to the Russian Federation. While the EU identifies itself with the overall goal to preserve outer space as an area free from armed conflict, further reflection and work is required on the elements for an effective international treaty. For example, it remains a difficult challenge to achieve consensus on the definitions needed for a legally binding instrument. As a matter of principle, an effective and robust verification system must be an integral part of any future Treaty concerned with space security. The EU considers it is not sufficient to only refer to a possible future additional protocol.
  4. The EU appreciates Russian efforts to enhance international space security and to put the subject on the international agenda. Considering the current state of affairs in the CD and of the here above elements the EU wishes to focus on a pragmatic and incremental approach, which will contribute to the strengthening of space security and create the atmosphere of confidence and transparency. To that end, the EU is working on a set of transparency and confidence building measures which it plans to present at the CD for discussion. Such transparency and confidence building measures could be an important stepping stone in this area, as it was announced in EU reply to UNGA Res. 61/75 Transparency and Confidence Building Measures in Outer Space Activities.
  5. Naturally, any additional measures should be complementary to the existing legal framework.

I thank you, Mr. President.


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Date: 17.04.2008