Who: UNGA First Committee
What: Approved draft resolution
When: 2 November 2015
Why: To prevent placement of nuclear arms in outer space
The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 2 November 2015 approved a draft resolution titled No first placement of weapons in outer space.
The draft was approved by a recorded vote of 122 in favour with 47 abstentions. Four countries abstained from voting, namely Israel, Ukraine, United States and Georgia.
Key points of the draft resolution
• The resolution calls UNGA to urge an early commencement of substantive work to prevent the placement of weapons in outer space.
• It stressed that other measures might contribute to ensuring that weapons were not placed in outer space.
• It encouraged all states, especially space-faring nations, to consider upholding as appropriate a political commitment not to be the first.
• In support of undertaking practical measures in the search for agreements, it welcomed the draft treaty introduced by China and the Russian Federation at the Conference on Disarmament in 2008, and its updated version of 2014.
Besides, the First Committee also approved without vote following resolutions:
Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction: This resolution was introduced by Hungary. It calls for encouraging States parties to provide information on their implementation of the Convention’s article X.
The article stresses on protecting and encouraging the peaceful uses of biological science and technology and to offer assistance to ensure compliance.
Preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction:As part of it, UNGA urged all Member States to take and strengthen national measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.
It also called for strengthening national measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring the materials and technologies related to their manufacture, and their means of delivery.
About First Committee
The First Committee is one of the six main committees at the UNGA. The committee deals with threats to peace, disarmament, and related international security questions that affect the globe.