Delivered by: His Excellency Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador and Permanent Representative

Mr. President,

Thank you for convening this important meeting.

The United Arab Emirates deeply regrets that the Security Council was unable to adopt its first-ever resolution on weapons of mass destruction in outer space.

By failing to adopt this resolution, the Council missed an important opportunity to take an initial step to preserve outer space for peaceful purposes in service of all humankind.

While peace and security often remain elusive on earth, we have the chance to get it right in outer space from the start.

Today, seventy years on from the initial international space race, the stakes are far higher. A nuclear or other WMD arms race in outer space could have far-reaching consequences for all of humanity.

Increasing divisions within the Security Council, particularly among its permanent members, undermine our collective efforts to maintain international peace and security, including in outer space. It is therefore crucial that the wider membership strengthen its cooperation on this vital new horizon for international peace.

The UAE believes that more needs to be done to prevent an arms race in outer space. While the Outer Space Treaty has laid a firm foundation for safeguarding outer space for the benefit of exploration, advances in technology and continued geo-political tensions compel us to proceed with caution.

Mr. President,

If the Security Council were to consider another resolution on this issue, we believe it should recognize three elements.

First, the Council should strive to adopt its first resolution on outer space with a united front and the unanimous support of all its members.

Second, any resolution should reaffirm the rights of member states to the peaceful use and exploration of outer space. It should not hinder either those countries with established space exploration programmes, or those with ambitions to do so in the future.

Third, the Council’s efforts to address outer space in its deliberations should be complimentary to existing efforts by member states in other fora.

Mr. President,

All countries have a shared stake in preventing an arms race in outer space. Our collective efforts would be better focused on what this new arena has to offer, an unparalleled opportunity to harness human ingenuity, curiosity, and international cooperation. This is something the UAE firmly believes in. For our part, we will continue to strive for the exclusively peaceful use of this final frontier.

Thank you, Mr. President.