The Open Ended Working Group on reducing space threats through norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviours took place in Geneva, 9-13 May 2022
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
We would like to congratulate you on your assumption of your role as chair of this open ended working group on reducing space threats through norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviours and we wish you success. We appreciate your efforts in clarifying procedural issues. You have our full support. We also wish to express our gratitude for the thought provoking presentations today.
The first session of the OEWG comes at a deeply worrying moment. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is causing a tragic loss of life and immense human suffering. Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine grossly violates international law and the UN Charter, and undermines international peace and security. The international community will hold Russia accountable for its actions. The EU and its Member States express full solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. The EU remains strongly committed to the fight against impunity for atrocities.
The EU and its Member States recognize that, while the existing international framework related to outer space and the legal regime provided for therein play a positive role in regulating outer space activities, it should be strengthened to cope with current security challenges and rapid technological development.
Considering the characteristics of outer space, particularly the dual-use issue and the difficulty of attribution and verification, the EU and its Member States underline that, without excluding the possibility of a legally binding instrument in the future, the most pragmatic, realistic and concrete way to strengthen space security and to prevent misconceptions and miscalculations, at this point in time, is to agree upon norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviours and to increase transparency and predictability of space activities.
As firm believers in multilateralism with the United Nations at its core, we strongly believe that it is in the interest of all States to pragmatically and urgently improve space security. We should act swiftly in order to agree on a global, common and multilateral solution through greater coordination and cooperation, with the involvement of all UN Member States and relevant organisations. The EU and its Member States therefore continue to be fully committed to engage actively and constructively in discussions in this open ended working group. In this regard, we have already submitted two EU working papers on scoping and on existing international legal and other normative frameworks concerning threats arising from State Behaviours with respect to outer space.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.