At UN, Pakistan pushes for efforts to prevent weaponization of outer-space

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 27 (APP): Pakistan has called for steps to prevent the weaponization of outer space, saying it should be explored and used exclusively for peaceful purposes.

“It is disappointing that countries are already treating space as a war-fighting domain and building relevant military capabilities,” Pakistani delegate Naeem Sabir Khan told the General Assembly’s Fourth Committee, which deals with special political and decolonization matters.

“Similarly, anti-satellite tests, not least because of their debris-generating effect, remain a matter of concern,” he said, adding that Pakistan has been a strong proponent of preventing arms race in outer space.

“The existing normative and legal architecture governing the security dimension of outer space has not kept pace with growing risks,” said Naeem Khan, a counsellor at the Pakistan Mission to the UN, pointing out that the world community has for decades called for steps to prevent an arms race in outer space.

On its part, he said, Pakistan, having ratified all five United Nations space treaties, uses its space capabilities to improve agriculture, health, climate change mitigation and disaster management, among other things.

Pointing to its membership in various regional and international space research and cooperation organizations, he said that SUPARCO, the Pakistani national space agency, hosts the regional support office of the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER).

Stressing the importance of the “Space2030” Agenda, the Pakistani delegate said that developing countries still face hurdles that prevent them from fully benefiting from space technologies.

Further, he said, space is a fragile resource and should be treated as a global common good, he said, adding that space traffic management and space debris mitigation are crucial to the long-term sustainability of space.