Press release on the adoption by the UN General Assembly of a resolution initiated by Russia and China “Further practical measures for the prevention of an arms race in outer space”
On December 24, at the initiative of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, the UN General Assembly adopted by a vast majority of UN member states the resolution “Further practical measures for the prevention of an arms race in outer space,” co-sponsored by as many as 35 countries. This creates new opportunities for promoting practical measures proposed by Russia and China to make sure that the outer space remains free from any kind of weapons and prevent the use or threat of force against outer space objects.
Specifically, the resolution calls for the establishment of a United Nations Group of Governmental Experts that will be tasked with issuing recommendations on the substantial elements of an international legally binding instrument on the prevention of an arms race in outer space, including on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space.
The establishment of the Group of Governmental Experts will create conditions for a comprehensive expert review of the draft treaty prepared by Russia and China on preventing the placement of weapons in outer space and the use or threat of force against outer space objects. The new version of the draft was presented at the Conference on Disarmament in June 2014.
The UN Secretary-General was requested to establish the Group of Governmental Experts in early 2018 with a membership of up to 25 Member States chosen on the basis of fair and equitable geographical representation. The Group of Governmental Experts will operate by consensus, and will hold two 2-week sessions in Geneva, one in 2018 and the other in 2019.