Forum: Disarmament Commission

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FORUM: Disarmament Commission

QUESTION OF: Inhibition of an arms race in outer space 

MAIN-SUBMITTED BY: Russian Federation

CO-SUBMITTED BY: China, Afghanistan, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Uganda, Nepal, Slovakia, Zambia, Norway, Bangladesh, Sweden, Australia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Spain, Venezuela, Mauritius
Having vast amount of knowledge and experience in the field of outer space and having submitted a paper on February of 2008 to the Committee on Disarmament regarding methods suggesting different steps to inhibit arms race in outer space,
Reminding member nations that in February of 2008, Russia has submitted a paper to the United Nations with China that focuses on measures to prevent an extraterrestrial arms race and in addition, that the Russian Federation joined a treaty on the ‘Prevention of the placement of Weapons in Outer Space’, which clearly shows that Russia is a strong advocator and supporter of this issue,
Alarmed by the fact that weaponization or militarization of outer space will lead to the disruption of the international society as well as undermine international and national security, destroy strategic balance and stability, and disrupt existing arms control instruments,
Deeply disturbed that the United States of America voted against the resolution entitled ‘Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space’ at the 60th General Assembly,
Noting that the United States of America and Russian Federation have been rivals in developing new outer space technologies and the militarization of an arms race in outer space could possibly lead to another national competition,
Further noting that the colonization of outer space will appeal to the global society due to the numerous benefits of outer space including possible inhabitable celestial bodies,
Recognizing the fact that different countries hold various levels of outer space knowledge and technology that can possibly lead certain countries to further investigate in the issue of outer space that ultimately leads to an increase in the potential conflict between nations,
Aware that 138 countries voted for the resolution entitled ‘Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space’ at the 60th General Assembly which implies that the international society agrees upon the idea that an arms race in outer space should be inhibited,
Deeply concerned about certain countries that do not seem to consider ‘inhibition of an arms race in outer space’ of great importance but rather oppose the idea by stating that existing multilateral arms control regime is sufficient and that there is no need to address a non-existing threat,

  1. Encourages all member states to revise the resolution entitled ‘Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space’ proposed at the 60th General Assembly in order to:

    1. evaluate each nation’s current status and views on the issue of an arms race in outer space which is an important factor in determining different views of each country in order to effectively collaborate and create a promising and effective future solution on the issue of outer space militarization, since different nations can work together harmoniously only when their views and goals are going in the same direction,

    2. realize the potential devastation due to an arms race in outer space possibly caused by increased weapon production and tension between international communities that can lead to the second Cold War,

    3. re-establish the nation’s views or stance on the current topic to contribute to the discussion of how to inhibit the colonization of space as well as inform the public about each nation’s future plans through measures such as but not limited to:

      1. keeping the citizens up to date regarding the country’s position on the issue through national newspaper articles or magazines,

      2. simple but effective commercials / videos that can catch the audience’s interest so that the directed message can be well delivered;

  1. Strongly suggests that a clear difference is established between the terms development of ‘missile defense’ and ‘missile attack’ systems due to the fact that missile defense allows countries to develop offensive technologies under the pretense of defense and control this problem by:

    1. NGOs such as UNOOSA (United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs) requesting monthly or annual reports describing in detail the specific actions that took place so that each nation’s plans and future projections of the systems being developed can be thoroughly analyzed and revised:

    2. further requests UNOOSA inspectors to personally visit development centers either with or without pre-notification to evaluate current stages and processes of the development of missile defense,

    3. reinforce the UNOOSA’s subcommittee, Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), and its two subcommittees within, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and Legal Subcommittee which proposes the following:

      1. agreement by which member nations adhere to the fact that space technology and services contribute to the economic growth and quality of life in general,

      2. a contract to facilitate international cooperation,

      3. to prevent legal problems which might arise in programs to explore outer space such as but not limited to tension between countries which could possibly lead to further conflicts,

    4. certain countries are in the process of developing ‘missile defense’ system that could constitute space weapons since many possess ‘dual-use’ characteristics, allowing them to destroy space assets as well as ballistic missiles. ‘Dual-use’ characteristics include:

      1. ground-based systems designed to attack outer space assets but are not part of the ‘weaponization of outer space’ due to the fact that they are not placed in the orbit itself,

      2. hypersonic technology vehicles that travel through space in order to reach their destination,

    5. imposing sanctions against nations that did not qualify with inspection;

  1. Draws attention to the idea of the physical results of fighting in outer space which can involve arms and munitions developed by individual nations in order to gain sovereignty over outer space that can result in:

    1. the proliferation of space debris, which poses great threat and can cause substantial damage to space crafts or satellites and can further disadvantage the international community with:

      1. the possibility of destruction of satellites, which can create so much debris to the point where it would prevent future satellites from being stationed and simply limit the access of outer space, as well as limiting civilian systems which require certain amount of space

      2. expecting the 1972 Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects to be preoccupied / find new resolutions to successfully reduce and destroy space debris,

    2. violation of existing multilateral agreements and treaties due to military clashes and conflicts such as:

      1. ‘Moon Agreement’ established in 1979 which reaffirms and elaborates many provisions about the use of outer space. It emphasizes that the moon and other celestial bodies should be used exclusively for peaceful purposes, that their environments should not be disrupted,

      2. ‘Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies’ established in 1966 which clearly states that celestial objects including the moon should be the ‘province of all mankind’;

  1. Stresses the importance of educating the public on the issue of outer space discussions through measures such as but not limited to:

    1. promoting and supporting international events such as ‘Keep Space for Peace Week’ which is a outer space which takes place in locations such as the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States of America,

    2. including ‘outer space’ classes in school curriculums that includes teachings about the importance of outer space, outer space and other celestial objects being the ‘province of all mankind’ where any nation may conduct experiments no matter their economic or scientific status in order to educate children from a young age about the importance of maintaining peace in outer space which can be crucial in ways such as preventing further conflicts regarding this issue in the future due to previously educated knowledge;

  1. Further recommends member nations to collaborate in order to create a multilateral treaty which will provide a promising solution for possible future conflicts through measures such as but not limited to:

    1. introduction of resolutions regarding the prevention of an arms race in outer space (PAROS) in the UN General Assembly, PAROS calling for:

      1. different states, especially those with space capabilities, to refrain from actions contrary to the objects of PAROS and request active participation,

      2. consolidation and reinforcement of the outer space legal regime, which relates to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which aims to preserve space for peaceful uses,

      3. prevention of any nation gaining military advantages in outer space which can lead to sovereignty claims;

    2. adopting a resolution drafted by Russia and China regarding transparency and confidence-building measures (TCBMs), a system where government or organizations who adhere to this resolution report all information regarding current and future outer space activities to certain requested organizations or groups, in outer space which is beneficial due to the fact that:

      1. TCBMs provide a good step towards the enhancement of trust and international cooperation, which is crucial in a gradual approach on preventing the weaponization of outer space,

      2. each nation’s current status in outer space development will be revealed, thus reducing competition amongst nations as well as any suspicious activities, similar to the idea introduced in operative clause 2, sub clause a, sub sub clause i;

  1. Stresses the importance of the submission of a working paper in 2002 by China, Russia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Belarus, Zimbabwe and Syria that outlines the basic elements of an international legal agreement on prohibiting the deployment of any weapons in outer space, and suggests measure to prevent this issue by establishing a sub-committee under the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) called ‘Satellite Organization Committee for Security (SOCS)’, a non-government organization, which evaluates satellites ready for departure and decides whether they qualify to be sent to outer space through measures such as:

    1. member sates getting permission from SOCS in order to get approval of satellite departure, which will lead to:

      1. sending less military purpose satellites and notes will be immediately sent to members states if military satellites are going to be sent,

      2. will limit the things attached to satellites like cameras for spying nations orweapons,

    1. member states will have to send the information of the satellites information to SOCS including:

  1. function,

  2. sending purpose,

  3. time the satellites will be sent,

  4. where the satellites will be sent,

    1. should get permission from the SOCS before sending satellites:

      1. SOCS will send the permission if the information is correct and considered it will be harmless for member states’ relationship,

      2. member states won’t be able to send satellites until get permission.

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