Statement by Ambassador Pankaj Sharma, Permanent Representative of India to the Conference on Disarmament during the Plenary meeting of the Conference on Disarmament held on June 1, 2021 with a substantive focus on PAROS
Thank you for organizing this thematic discussion on PAROS in the Conference on Disarmament, where it has been on the agenda since 1982.
2. I would like to join other colleagues and you in welcoming Ambassador Anna Jardfelt of Sweden as our newest member of the CD family andlook forward to working with her.
3. India aligns itself with the G-21 statement delivered by the distinguished Coordinator from Kenya.
4. I thank our distinguished panelists Dr. Bassem Hassan, Dr. Nathalie Archinard, Ms. Laetitia Zarkan and Mr. Michael Spies for their excellent presentations.
5. India is a major space faring nation and I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate India’s position on PAROS. India remains opposed to the weaponization of outer space. India has not, and will not, resort to any arms race in outer space. We remain committed to maintaining outer space as an ever-expanding frontier for cooperative endeavours of all space faring nations. It is incumbent on all space faring nations and others to contribute to safeguard outer space as the common heritage of humankind, and preserve and promote the benefits flowing from the space technology and its applications for all.
6. India continues to support substantive consideration of the prevention of an arms racein outer space (PAROS) within the multilateral framework of the UN. We remain committed to negotiation of a legally-binding instrument on the prevention of an arms race in outer space to be negotiated in the Conference on Disarmament.India has maintained that while universal and non-discriminatory transparency and confidence-building measures can play a useful complementary role, they cannot substitute for legally binding instruments in this field.Similarly, India hasunderlined the need for consideration of PAROS based on objective and concrete criteria and concepts rather than subjective beliefs and perceptions. India was an active participant in the Group of Governmental Experts on the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space which concluded its session in March 2019. India also participated in the deliberation on TCBMs held in the informal meeting of the UNDC in April 2019. At the 75thsession of the First Committee last year, India voted in favour of four out of five resolutions submitted under the Outer Space cluster, namely, the Prevention of an arms race in outer space (which we also co-sponsored), Further practical measures for the prevention of an arms race in outer space, No first placement of weapons in outer space as well as Transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities.
7. India looks forward to an early start of negotiations of a legally binding instrument on PAROS to address pressing issues relating to space security and remains committed to playing a leading and constructive role together with other partners in this regard.