August 13, 2015
STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 21 BY AMBASSADOR R.M. MICHAEL TENE, CHARGE D’AFFAIRES AD INTERIM OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA IN GENEVA AT THE INFORMAL PLENARY MEETING ON THE PREVENTION OF AN ARMS RACE IN OUTER SPACE
Ambassador Matthew Rowland,
On behalf of Ambassador Triyono Wibowo, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia in Geneva in his capacity as the Coordinator of the Group of 21, I would like to convey the following statement.
This informal plenary meeting under your coordinatorship is a good opportunity for us to have constructive deliberations on the prevention of an arms race in outer space.
On this occasion, on behalf the Group of 21, we would like to reiterate the Group’s views as has been conveyed by Ambassador Venkatesh Varma of India through the statement on the ‘Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space’ on behalf of the Group of 21 delivered at the CD plenary meeting on 30 June 2015. The gist of the Group’s views is as follows:
1. The Group reaffirms that the Conference on Disarmament is the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community, which has the primary role in conducting substantive negotiations on priority issues of disarmament. The Group, therefore, believes that the Conference on Disarmament should start negotiations on matters related to the ‘Prevention of an arms race in outer space’ without delay.
2. While welcoming the adoption of Resolution 69/31 entitled ‘Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space’ by the UN General Assembly, the Group recalls that the resolution made the following observations with regard to the Conference on Disarmament:
(a) The Conference on Disarmament has the primary role in the negotiation of a multilateral agreement or agreements on the prevention of an arms race in outer space in all its aspects; and
(b) The Conference on Disarmament should establish a working group under its agenda item entitled ‘Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space” as early as possible during its 2015 session.
3. The Group takes note of the completion of the work of the Group of Governmental Experts and the adoption of a study on outer space transparency and confidence-building measures as requested by Resolution 65/68 of the General Assembly of the United Nations on ‘Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures in Outer Space Activities’, which was adopted by consensus at the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. The Group, while stressing the priority of negotiating legally binding instruments for reinforcing the international legal regime on outer space, recognizes that global and inclusive transparency and confidence building measures, reached at through broad international consultations, could be important complementary measures. The Group recognizes the value of TCBMs including a non-legally binding Code of Conduct in promoting trust among States. However, such voluntary measures cannot be a substitute for a legally binding treaty on PAROS.
4. The Group welcomes the updated draft treaty text submitted jointly by the Russian Federation and China on the ‘Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects” (PPWT) to the Conference on Disarmament in June 2014. This initiative is a constructive contribution to the work of the Conference, and is a good basis for discussions toward adopting an international binding instrument.
5. The Group also welcomes the adoption of Resolution 69/32 entitled ‘No First Placement of Weapons in Outer Space’ by the UN General Assembly on 11 December 2014.
6. The Group takes notes of the substantive and interactive informal discussions on PAROS held in the CD from 11-13 June 2014 pursuant to the Schedule of Activities of the 2014 session contained in document CD/1978.
For your reference, the complete statement as has been conveyed by Ambassador Venkatesh Varma of India through the statement on the ‘Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space’ delivered on behalf of the Group of 21 at the CD plenary meeting on 30 June 2015 is attached.
I thank you, Mr. Coordinator.
Geneva, 13 August 2015