Opening Statement by H. E. Ambassador HU Xiaodi At the International Conference on "Safeguarding Space Security: Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space"
Distinguished Director General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, on behalf of the Chinese government and the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations at Geneva, I would like to congratulate on the convocation of the International Conference on “Safeguarding Space Security: Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space” and extend my warmest welcome to the participating government representatives and experts.
Since we joined the Conference on Disarmament at Geneva in 1980, this is the first attempt by China to host an international conference together with the United Nations and other countries concerned at the United Nations’ Office in Geneva (UNOG). It is also the first time we sponsor an international conference specifically on the issue of outer space. I would like to take this opportunity to thank UNOG, and our co-organizers, the Russian Federation, UNIDIR and the Simons Centre for Disarmament and Non-proliferation Research of Canada for their great efforts in convening this Conference.
Outer space is the common heritage of mankind and the peaceful use of outer space is the aspiration of all peoples. Today, outer space is within the reach of more and more countries which are working to realise the objective of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, i.e. the peaceful uses of outer space for the benefit and interests of all nations.
However, while creating unprecedented opportunities for the international community, the rapid development of science and technology has also brought about new challenges to the peaceful use of outer space. Changes in the perception of security, the coming into age of related weapons technologies as well as the developments in combat theories, all lead to the increasing danger of turning outer space into a battlefield and a place without security. Therefore, I believe it is very necessary and timely to thoroughly explore and study the important issues around the overarching topic of “Safeguarding Space Security: the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space”.
This conference incorporates a diversity of sub-topics, with a view to reviewing a wide spectrum of outer space related issues and exploring effective means to maintain space security and prevent an arms race in outer space. I hope that, through our exchanges, we will arrive at a better understanding of each other and come up with useful recommendations.
The 21st century is the century of peace, development and co-operation. To make progress on outer space issues, it is imperative for us to uphold multilateralism and strengthen international co-operation. In this spirit, I am convinced that this conference will be able to make one step forward in advancing our common goal.