I thank you for organizing this thematic discussion on PAROS, a core issue on the agenda of the Conference on Disarmament. I also thank our distinguished panelists Ambassador Gennady Gatilov, Ambassador Juan Eduardo Eguiguren and Mr. Daniel Porras and express our appreciation for their excellent presentations.
2. India is a major space faring nation and I would like to take this opportunity to put India’s position on PAROS on record. India remains opposed to the weaponisation of outer space. India has not, and will not, resort to any arms race in outer space. India has been a consistent advocate of preserving the outer space as a common heritage of humankind. We remain committed to maintaining outer space as an ever-expanding frontier for cooperative endeavours of all space faring nations.
3. India continues to support substantive consideration of the prevention of an arms race in outer space 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, where it has been on the agenda since 1982. India has been 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. We also participated in deliberation on TCBMs held in informal meeting of the UNDC April this year. At the 73rdsession of the First Committee last year, India voted in favour of all resolutions submitted under the Outer Space cluster, including on the Prevention of an arms race in outer space (which we also co-sponsored), on Further practical measures for the prevention of an arms race in outer space, on No first placement of weapons in outer space as well as on Transparency and confidence-building measures in outer space activities.
4. India remains committed to playing a leading and constructive role together with other partners, in deliberations and negotiations on prevention of an arms race in outer space, including legally binding measures, TCBMs and long-term sustainability guidelines.
5. In closing, I congratulate you on the successful conclusion of your Presidency and express our sincere appreciation and gratitude for your active efforts throughout your Presidency to advance our work. Let me also wish success to the distinguished Ambassador of Zimbabwe as the incoming President of the Conference on Disarmament and assure him of India’s full support and cooperation.
Thank you, Mr. President.