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Belarus calls for stronger guarantees for non-deployment of weapons in space

MINSK, 25 October (BelTA) – Belarus advocates stronger international guarantees for the non-deployment of weapons in outer space, Deputy Head of the Department of International Security and Armament Control of the Foreign Ministry of Belarus Alexander Ponomarev said at the UN headquarters in New York on 32 October in his statement on the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War to the Inhumane Weapons Convention (Protocol V) as well as against the arms race in outer space, BelTA learnt from the press service of the Foreign Ministry.

According to the ministry, the Belarusian delegation continues its participation in the work of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) at the 67th session of the UN General Assembly.

Speaking on the issues related to the prevention of the arms race in outer space, the Belarusian diplomat stated that alongside rapid development of space technologies and an increase in the number of states implementing space exploration programs there is a need for additional measures for confidence-building and enhanced responsibility for space activity among states.

It was noted that the existing international legal instruments are not a reliable barrier to the deployment of weapons in outer space and to the transformation of outer space into an arena of military actions. According to Alexander Ponomarev, Belarus, who became a space power this year, would like to get the guarantees that outer space will remain peaceful.

According to the Belarusian delegation, the most comprehensive solution would be the adoption of a treaty on the prevention of the deployment of weapons in outer space, the use of force or the threat of use of force against outer space objects.

Alexander Ponomarev also briefed participants on the work of the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Belarus to the UN Office and other international organizations in Geneva Mikhail Khvostov in the capacity of Chairman of the fifth conference of the states parties to Protocol V to the CCW.

The diplomat noted that while performing the functions of the Presidency the Belarusian side directed efforts at increasing the number of states-parties of Protocol V. Thanks to the work done during the year four more states joined the protocol on explosive remnants of war (currently 80 states are part of this international treaty). He called for the further universalization of Protocol V to the CCW, which should contribute to the improvement of arms control and strengthening of the international humanitarian law.