Other Texts Concern Security Assurances, Nuclear Waste, Chemical Weapons, Latin America, New Weapons of Mass Destruction
The General Assembly would call upon all States, in particular those with major space capabilities, to contribute actively to the prevention of an arms race in outer space and to refrain from actions contrary to that objective, according to one of six draft resolutions approved this morning by the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security), as it began taking action on all disarmament- and security-related draft texts.
The text was approved by a recorded vote of 138 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (Israel, United States). (For details of the vote, see Annex II.)
Speaking in explanation of vote, the representative of the United States said, like last year, his delegation had abstained. There had been unprecedented peaceful cooperation in outer space, which would likely continue, and it was almost incontestable that there was no arms race in outer space. Moreover, military uses of outer space, including treaty monitoring and refugee tracking, had enhanced international peace and security.
The draft resolution on the prevention of an arms race in outer space was approved by a vote of 138 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (Israel, United States) (Annex II).
The representative of the United States, speaking in explanation of vote, said although his delegation had agreed with some elements of the text, the text had included provisions which were overstated or unwise. Accordingly, like last year, he had abstained in the vote. There had been unprecedented peaceful cooperation in outer space, which would likely continue. Evidently, it was almost incontestable that there was no arms race in outer space. Moreover, military uses of outer space had enhanced international peace and security. He highlighted some practical examples, which had included treaty monitoring, refugee tracking, counter-terrorism activity and sanctions enforcement. Thus, he said the international community had not needed to take an active role in preventing an outer space arms race. Nevertheless, with a view to “getting down to work” in the Conference on Disarmament on such issues as a fissile material cut-off treaty, his delegation had exhibited some flexibility on such discussions, which should not prejudge its final analysis of the issue.
The representative of the United Kingdom, speaking also on behalf of Germany, said that although those delegations had supported the draft, they had wanted to make sure their vote would not be misconstrued when the subject was addressed at the 2000 session of the Conference on Disarmament. In the past, both the United Kingdom and Germany had actively contributed to the work of the ad hoc committee. Unfortunately, it had not been possible to achieve a consensus on any of the proposals. Those two countries had recognized the continued validity of the subject and would consider the establishment of an appropriate subsidiary body, as well as a re-examination and possible updating of its mandate.
He said the Conference had other important work to do in 2000, which should be given high priority, above all, an early start on negotiations for a fissile material cut-off treaty. For that reason, the positive vote on the outer space text should not be understood as endorsing agreement before the creation of a particular model for a subsidiary body to address that issue.
The representative of Kuwait said his delegation had wished to join the co-sponsors of the prevention of an arms race in outer space (document A/C.1/54/L.22). In addition, his vote in favour of the text had not been recorded on the voting machine.
(END OF ANNEX I)
Vote on Prevention of Outer Space Arms Race
The draft resolution on the prevention of arms race in outer space (document A/C.1/54/L.22) was approved by a recorded vote of 138 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions, as follows:
In favour: Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belguim, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
Abstain: Israel, United States.
Absent: Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Benin, Cameroon, Comoros, Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Jordan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lesotho, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Nauru, Palau, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Somalia, Suriname, Tajikistan, Tonga, Zambia.
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