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|Thursday, June 22, 2000, updated at 21:16(GMT+8)|
Disarmament Conference Should Discuss Prevention of Arms Race in Outer SpaceThe Conference on Disarmament (CD) should focus its work on the most pressing, outstanding and influential issues on international peace and security such as the prevention of an arms race in outer space (PAROS), a Chinese diplomat said in Geneva Thursday.
"PAROS has every reason to be one of the highest priorities on the agenda of the CD, the sole multilateral disarmament negotiating body," China's Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs Hu Xiaodi told the CD plenary session.
Since PAROS was listed on its agenda in 1982, Hu recalled, the CD established Ad Hoc Committees on PAROS for 10 consecutive years from 1985 to 1994 and much useful work had been done during that period.
Last year, the United Nations General Assembly once again adopted at its 54th session by an overwhelming majority the resolution on the prevention of an arms race in outer space. No country voted against this resolution.
The resolution invites the CD to establish an ad hoc committee on PAROS as early as possible during its 2000 session and reiterates that the CD has the primary role in the negotiation of a multilateral agreement or agreements on the prevention of an arms race in outer space.
"In view of the above, the Chinese delegation maintains that the CD should reestablish, in line with the wording of the proposal contained in the CD document about PAROS, to negotiate and conclude an international legal instrument banning the test, deployment and use of any weapons, weapons systems and their components in outer space," Hu said.
He pointed out that it is essential to prevent an arms race in outer space at a time when a program aimed at the domination of outer space has been put forward and under implementation, with a view to seeking unilateral military and strategic superiority.
"The most outstanding examples in this regard over the past two years are the development and planned deployment of the so-called National and Theater Missile Defense systems," he said.
According to the relevant program, some advanced weapon systems will be deployed in outer space or will target objects in outer space. Some others, by using outer space as a platform, will provide targeting information and guidance for ground-based weapon systems.
He said that the program "runs counter to the sincere aspirations of the international community to use outer space for peaceful purposes."
In his statement, the Chinese ambassador also told the session that the CD will not be directed only against the NMD program when it conducts substantive work on PAROS.
"The Chinese delegation believes that under the agenda item of PAROS, the CD should not confine itself to the above mentioned issues," he said. "On the contrary, it should cover more extensive areas, involving not only strategic balance and military and security situation on the ground, but also the common heritage of the mankind, the peace and tranquillity in outer space."
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