Friday, February 13, 2009

EU presents draft Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activites

UN Press Release
HAT TIP TO Cédric Sapey - SGAC-Switzerland

EXCERPT: "Mr. Pinte said that the European Union had been preparing a draft proposal for an international Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities and on 8 December 2008, the Council of the European Union had approved an initial draft text.

"The draft included transparency and confidence-building measures, it was however not a legally binding document, nor did it seek to replace initiatives which worked towards that aim. It recognized that a comprehensive approach to safety and security in outer space should be guided by the principles of: freedom of access to space for all for peaceful purposes; preservation of the security and integrity of space objects in orbit; and due consideration to the legitimate defense interests of states. The main objective of the Code was to strengthen the safety, security and predictability of all space activities and covered civil as well as military activities.

"The main purpose of the project code was twofold, said Mr. Pinte. It aimed at strengthening the existing United Nations treaties, principles and arrangements and to complement them by codifying new best practices in space operations, including measures of notification and ofconsultation that would strengthen the confidence and transparency between space actors. As the code would be voluntary and open to all states, it did not include any provisions concerning the specific question of non-placement of weapons in outer space. The purpose of the code was neither to duplicate nor to compete with the initiatives dealing with this specific issue, nor to oppose them."

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