Pakistan calls for boosting efforts to prevent weaponization of outer-space

252

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 24 (APP): Pakistan has called for intensified efforts to prevent the weaponization of outer-space to avert a “grave danger” to international peace and security.
Speaking in the General Assembly’s Disarmament and International Security Committee, Ambassador Tehmina Janjua, the permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in Geneva, said that the development and deployment of anti-ballistic missile systems and
their integration into space assets had added a worrying dimension to the outer space-related issues.
“It is therefore an urgent imperative for the international community to preclude the possibility of weaponizing outer space, now,” she said during a debate on Outer Space matters.
Space was no longer considered an exclusive preserve of a few developed States, the Pakistani envoy said. “Today developing countries are tapping into space technology in diverse areas ranging from meteorology and disaster management to economy and telecommunications,” she said, adding, “Their reliance on space
technology will grow further in the years to come.
“But this time, the developing countries will neither carry the
burden of non-proliferation, nor will they accept any discriminatory restrictions which hamper their peaceful pursuits in outer space.
The only answer is equal responsibility.”
At the same time, Ambassador Janjua said there was a growing use of outer space by many States, both for civilian and military purposes, enhancing the potential and risk of its weaponization.
The international community should avoid the mistakes made in the case of chemical weapons and preclude the possibility of weaponizing outer space, she told delegates.
In that regard, it must ask for a clear expression of the
underlying reasons that obliged certain States to oppose
negotiations on a proposed treaty on preventing an arms
race in outer space. Those States should acknowledge their
responsibility in perpetuating the deadlock in the
Conference on Disarmament (D).
“We have not heard a convincing case from these States
as to how negotiations on prevention of arms race in outer
space would negatively affect their security interests,” the
Pakistani envoy said.
In any case, she said, these states should acknowledge
their responsibility in perpetuating the CD’s deadlock.