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Remarks by Ambassador Fu Cong at the UN General Assembly Meeting on the Use of Veto

2024-05-06 12:30

On May 6, the 78th session of General Assembly held open debate on the use of veto on the draft resolution on outer space security in the Security Council on April 24. Ambassador Fu Cong attended the meeting and delivered the following remarks.  

President,

Outer space is the global commons and holds the shared dreams of all humanity. Its peaceful uses, enhanced cooperation, and improved governance are the shared aspirations of all countries and the general trend of the times. Meanwhile, the world today is not at peace. The risk of outer space weaponization is on the rise. The rights of developing countries to access space science and technology have been restricted. The shortcomings of its existing system of governance are gradually emerging. And there are unprecedented challenges in the peaceful uses of outer space. In order to effectively ensure that the development and utilization of outer space benefits all member states, the international community should make the following efforts. 

First, to firmly preserve the peaceful nature of outer space. At present, the greatest challenge in other space lies in one superpower seeking hegemony, defining outer space as a war-fighting domain, accelerating the building of outer space forces, developing and deploying offensive outer space weapons, and building a military alliance there, which has seriously undermined the peaceful nature of outer space and increased the risk of military miscalculation and conflicts. The international community should uphold a common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security concept, resolutely oppose the weaponization or an arms race in outer space, and avoid turning outer space into a new battlefield. That major country should play an exemplary role in abandoning the mindset and the policy of pursuing absolute security and dominance, and take practical actions to safeguard peace and security in outer space.

Second, to speed up the improvement of the international space governance system. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty is the cornerstone of the existing international space order and has played a positive role in safeguarding the peaceful nature of outer space and regulating space behaviors. However, it has been over half a century since the Treaty was concluded With the development of the situation, it is gradually becoming outdated. For example, the Treaty only prohibits the deployment of weapons of mass destruction in outer space, but not other types of weapons. The international community urgently needs to negotiate and conclude a new outer space treaty to provide a more solid institutional foundation for outer space security. As early as 2008, China and Russia submitted to the Conference on Disarmament a draft treaty on outer space, which was widely recognized and supported by the international community and can serve as the basis for future negotiations.

Third, to ensure all countries share the dividends of outer space. All countries, regardless of their size and level of development, can become participants in, beneficiaries of, and contributors to the peaceful uses of outer space. The international community should actively carry out cooperation in space, communications, navigation, and meteorology, and jointly promote the development of the space application industry, so as to promote technological progress, economic growth, livelihood improvement, and the achievement of the SDGs in all countries. The major countries in space technology application have the responsibility to provide more space public goods, so that more countries can enjoy the dividends of the peaceful uses of outer space. Certain country should stop generalizing the concept of national security and wantonly suppressing the scientific research and technological development of other countries. On the contrary, it should create conditions for international exchanges and cooperation in the field of outer space.

Fourth, to discuss outer space governance in a spirit of consultation and inclusiveness. As outer space issues are highly technical and specialized, the CD, COPUOS, the First Committee of the GA, and other specialized platforms should perform their respective duties with complementarity, so as to jointly improve outer space governance, the Security Council can, based on its own mandate, consider as appropriate the issue of outer space security, but should reflect as much as possible the consensus of the international community and provide support and complementarity to the discussions on specialized platforms. The draft resolution on outer space security previously proposed by the US and Japan in the Council is neither comprehensive nor balanced, which China is not in the position to support. The Russian Federation has recently submitted a new draft resolution in the Council that is more comprehensive and balanced. China supports that draft resolution and looks forward to the early agreement among Council members, so as to jointly safeguard mutual trust and cooperation among all parties on the issue of outer space.

President, 

Outer space belongs to all humanity and bears on the security and well-being of all member states. All countries should work together to turn other space into a new frontier for mutually beneficial cooperation and progress, rather than an arena of confrontations. China will work with the international community to further deepen exchanges and cooperation in outer space, enhance outer space governance, and make efforts and contributions to safeguarding security in outer space, promoting peaceful uses of outer space, and building a community with a shared future for humankind.

Thank you, President.

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