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Closing statement by H. E. Ambassador HU Xiaodi At the International Conference on “Safeguarding Space Security: Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space”

2005/03/22

Madam Chair,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thanks to your common effort, our Conference on “Safeguarding Space Security: Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space” has completed the work and has proved to be useful and successful. In the short span of a day and a half, in-depth discussions on the various aspects of the question of outer space have been conducted, as witnessed by the active participation of experts, scholars and diplomats, who have expressed their views and provided recommendations on ensuring the peaceful use of outer space, maintaining space security and preventing an arms race in outer space. Together with other co-sponsors of this conference, I would like to express our sincere thanks to you all.

At this conference, we have further consolidated our common understanding on the peaceful use of outer space, space security and the prevention of an arms race in outer space. Participants have shown their collective aspiration that, as the common heritage of mankind, outer space should be used in the interest of all mankind.

Indeed, detailed presentations given by experts on the challenges to and the inadequacies in the international legal regime related to outer space have enabled us to gain a better insight of the issues involved.

Furthermore, the conference has illustrated the necessity for safeguarding security and preventing an arms race in outer space by political, legal and other peaceful means. For ensuring security in outer space, political and legal approaches are more can still be effective, while resorting to force and the development of space weapons will only be counter-productive.

The conference has also come up with some useful recommendations to facilitate the international community in making progress on the issue of outer space. Views and suggestions such as amending or improving the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, constructive engagement and cooperation, verification, unilateral declaration on no-first-deployment of weapons in outer space, a space code of conduct, negotiate a legal instrument to prevent the weaponization in outer space, and/or ensure space common security etc., have been put forward and explored. These are all “food for thought” for the international community that deserve our serious consideration.

As a Chinese saying goes, “a bosom friend afar brings a distant land near”. It is my sincere hope that all the participants in the conference will bring home the positive message of this conference, and together, let us draw the attention of the international community upon outer space issues, with a view to preserving a tranquil sky for our future generations.

In addition to the joint endeavour by all participants, panellists and moderators, the success of the conference is also dependent on the support and contributions from the Russian Federation and the Simons Foundation of Canada. Needless to say, if without the organizational work done by UNIDIR, and the guidance given by our chairperson Patricia, the conference could never be plain-sailing as it has been. UNOG and the Department of Disarmament Affairs Branch in Geneva have also given great help. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to once again convey my profound gratitude to you.

Thank you.

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