Statement by Ambassador Laura Kennedy
U.S. Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament
Second Thematic Debate on PAROS
July 31, 2012
Thank you, Mr. President. I recall my earlier statement on space and PAROS when we met on this topic on June 5. Today, I would like to warmly congratulate Victor Vasiliev of the Russian Federation on his election as Chair of the UN Group of Governmental Experts study on Outer Space Transparency and Confidence Building Measures (TCBMs).
The United States welcomes the progress made by the GGE at its first session last week in New York. The indicative program of work adopted by the GGE provides a solid framework for Experts to conduct a comprehensive review of the role of bilateral and multilateral mechanisms to strengthen stability in space.
As we have noted before, this GGE study provides a unique opportunity to explore opportunities for international cooperation on pragmatic, voluntary, effective, and timely TCBMs.
By maintaining a focus on voluntary and non-legally binding measures, a consensus GGE report can contribute to substantive discussion on space security here at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) as well as at the UN General Assembly First Committee.
With regard to multilateral TCBMs, we welcome the GGE’s plans to give full consideration to efforts to pursue an International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities.
As we have noted before, the United States is currently working closely with the European Union (EU) and like-minded nations to develop a Code.
We welcome the EU’s initiation of a multilateral diplomatic process to discuss and negotiate a Code, which will start with a multilateral experts meeting that the EU plans to convene in October in New York on the margins of the UNGA First Committee.
The United States looks forward to participating in this meeting and also strongly supports the EU’s efforts to pursue outreach on the Code to all UN Member States.
As we have previously noted, all states around the globe, not just the members and observers at the CD, have a stake in promoting greater stability and transparency in outer space.
Finally, I would also like to welcome our new colleagues from Belgium, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Finland and bid farewell to our departing colleagues.