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Support grows for Russia's UN initiative for no-first placement of weapons in space

Russia's United Nations General Assembly draft resolution for no-first placement of weapons in the outer space lays the groundwork of practical steps to keep the outer space free of any weapons and ensuring opportunities equal for all countries for peaceful use of the outer space, Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday over the vote on Russia's draft of the new resolution at a UN General Assembly session.

"During the vote procedure on documents of the First Committee at the 69th UN General Assembly session the Russian draft of the new UN General Assembly resolution on no-first placement of weapons in the outer space was approved by an overwhelming majority," the diplomatic agency said. "As many as 126 UN member-states voted for the Russian resolution project. Only the United States, Israel, Georgia and Ukraine voted against it," the ministry noted.

"The vote results confirmed that our no-first placement initiative enjoys a growing support in the international community," the Russian Foreign Ministry said, adding that "the draft resolution was presented in the UN General Assembly for the first time and already 33 countries acted as its co-authors."

"The document was drafted to develop a resolution for prevention of the arms race in the outer space which is supported by an overwhelming majority of UN member-states and is presented by Egypt or Sri Lanka every year," the ministry said. "One of key provisions of this document is an appeal to soonest start of talks at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva to work out and endorse an international, legally binding treaty on prevention of placement of weapons in the outer space, use of force or a threat of force against space objects. The renovated Russian-Chinese draft treaty was submitted for consideration of the Conference on Disarmament in June."

"Meanwhile, the draft resolution contains an address to all countries to assume a political commitment on the resolution over no-first placement of weapons in the outer space," Russian Foreign Ministry said. "At the present moment, this responsible step was already taken by 11 countries (Argentina, Armenia, Belarus, Brazil, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Cuba, Russia, Tajikistan, Sri Lanka)."

"The assumption of the commitment over the no-first placement resolution by all countries significant in terms of space activity would facilitate advance to a legally binding ban on placement of any weapons in the outer space, use of force or a threat of force against space objects," Russian Foreign Ministry said. "Further effort to globalize the no-first placement initiative will add importantly to effort by all UN states to ensure equal and indivisible security and stability," the ministry stressed.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 04Nov14]

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