Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC: “Western members on UNSC, have prevented from taking a balanced decision in favor of preserving space exclusively for peaceful use”

11:52 22.05.2024 •

Photo: Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Explanation of vote by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UN Security Council vote on a Russian draft resolution on non-placement of weapons in outer space. Main points.


Before the vote:

- We believe that the peaceful exploration of outer space, which has become a symbol of the tremendous progress of science and technology, should serve as an effective means of resolving many global problems, including those of economic development. This is what the world community has been striving to achieve for at least half of a century.

- We are also convinced of the need to prevent space from becoming another arena of armed confrontation and warfare. It is now more important than ever that the complete exclusion of outer space from the arms race and its preservation for peaceful purposes should become a universally recognized international norm.

- The draft that we are presenting is comprehensive and contains well-known provisions that reflect the interests and aspirations of the vast majority of UN member states. Thanks to its broad scope, it is aimed at reaffirming states' commitments not to use space for the deployment of any kind of weapons, including WMD.

- While working on the document, we adopted a responsible approach to the comments of all members of the Security Council. I tell you more: we made concessions to our Western colleagues and even removed a crucially important reference to the Russian-Chinese draft treaty on the non-deployment of weapons in outer space. By the way, this document is still on the table at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. It retains its relevance and is seen as the basis for future negotiations on a multilateral legally binding instrument on PAROS.

- The draft resolution is of utmost importance in the context of the challenges that we face in outer space. Its adoption will reaffirm our collective commitment to preserving the peaceful nature of outer space, and make a significant contribution to international peace and security. Today's vote is a “moment of truth” for our Western colleagues. If they do not support the draft resolution, they will clearly signify that their main task is to maintain a free hand for the expedited militarization of outer space. This will be especially obvious given that all the provisions promoted by the United States and Japan on the non-deployment of WMDs in space, including nuclear weapons, are retained in our draft without any changes.

- We call on all responsible participants in space activities to support our draft Security Council resolution.


After the vote:

- It is deeply regrettable that they, Western members on UNSC, have prevented the UN Security Council from taking a balanced and much needed decision in favor of preserving space exclusively for peaceful use. By doing so, they have finally taken off their masks and, exposed themselves, and shown us what they really are.

- As recently as last month, the United States and its allies, with all their characteristic cynicism, were literally beating their chests, loudly assuring everyone of their commitment to peaceful space. Now that they have confirmed their real intentions to continue militarizing space and developing appropriate weapons, their attempts to justify their actions by the allegedly non-consensual nature of our draft resolution look particularly cynical and hypocritical. Not to mention their sudden awareness of the importance of discussing the issue of PAROS at specialized “disarmament” platforms – the position for which that they criticized Russia a few weeks ago.

- Today the representative of Japan tried to kick this ball into our half of the pitch. However, we all remember that it was you who put this matter on the Council's agenda. The reason why you did not support our draft resolution today is banal and simple: you want to keep a free hand to use space for military purposes and to place any kind of weapons there.

- The explanation that the American representative provided before the vote – sorry to say that, but it was ridiculous and could not stand any scrutiny, because it failed to answer the main question. The United States does not want WMDs in space, does it? Our draft resolution does have such a provision that we actually borrowed from the Japanese-American draft. So will you please explain why you are opposed to banning all other types of weapons in space? The other delegations who voted against our draft also had nothing to say, for that matter.

- Colleagues, we urge all of you to think about the consequences that the inhabitants of the Earth will face in the event of the militarization of outer space. And, unfortunately, the odds of such a scenario (as the United States and its allies have once again proved today) are growing.

- At the same time, today's vote is a defeat for all those who, like Russia, are trying to avoid the spread of confrontation into Earth’s orbit. Of course, the current situation will require analysis and reciprocal steps on our part. At the same time, Russia will remain committed to its obligations in outer space in accordance with international law.


read more in our Telegram-channel