Russia vetoes Security Council draft resolution on a weapon-free outer space

24 April 2024 – Russia used its veto to quash a draft resolution aimed at keeping weapons out of outer space.

The Security Council rejected the draft resolution, introduced by Japan and the United States, by a vote of 13 in favour to one against, with one abstention (China), that would have had the 15-member organ call on “all States, in particular those with major space capabilities, to contribute actively to the objective of the peaceful use of outer space and of the prevention of an arms race in outer space.”

Also by the draft, the Council would have called on all nations “to refrain from actions contrary to that objective and to the relevant existing treaties in the interest of maintaining international peace and security and promoting international cooperation”.

Council rejects amendment tabled by China and Russia

Members also rejected an amendment tabled by China and Russia, by a vote of seven in favour to seven against, with one abstention, failing to reach the required nine votes for an adoption.

The amendment suggested an additional paragraph, which would have had the Council call on “all States, and above all those with major space capabilities, to take urgent measures to prevent for all time the placement of weapons in outer space and the threat or use of force in outer space, from space against Earth and from Earth against objects in outer space, and to seek through negotiations the early elaboration of appropriate reliably verifiable legally binding multilateral agreements.”

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John Pike