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1 Paul Meyer, The Conference on Disarmament and the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space 1 (2011)

handle is hein.unl/unaadw0001 and id is 1 raw text is: The CD and PAROS
A Short History
April 2011
The CD Discussion Series
Between December 2010 and July 2011, the UNIDIR project The Conference on
Disarmament: Breaking the Ice and the Geneva Forum are organizing a series of
thematic discussions to examine the myths and realities of the CD-as well as the
critical challenges facing it-with the aim to increase understanding of the history,
processes and issue areas of this unique negotiating forum.
The Conference on Disarmament and the
Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space
Ambassador (ret.) Paul Meyer
The consideration of outer space from an arms control and disarmament
perspective has a long pedigree at the CD. As with many of its agenda items, the
CD was responding to a request of the UN General Assembly, which in turn was
being animated by real world security concerns. In the case of outer space, the
initiative was taken by the Soviet Union, which in August 1981 sought to have
the issue placed on the Assembly's agenda as a separate item and offered up a
draft treaty prohibiting the placement of weapons in outer space. This national
initiative built on a brief reference in the Final Document of the Tenth Special
Session (on Disarmament) of the General Assembly to the need for appropriate
action to prevent an arms race in outer space. As noted in the UN Yearbook for
concern was expressed during the General Assembly session that rapid
advances in science and technology had made the extension of the arms
race into outer space a real possibility, and that new kinds of weapons were
still being developed despite the existence of international agreements such
as [the Outer Space Treaty] which prohibited nuclear and other weapons of
mass destruction from being placed in orbit or elsewhere in space.'
Action was duly taken at that General Assembly to request the CD's engagement
on the matter, but already there was evidence of the differing perspectives of
Member States regarding both the nature of the threat and the most appropriate
way of responding to it. Unfortunately, these differences have tended to be


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