ISLAMABAD  -   Pakistan and Russia Wednesday signed a Joint Statement on ‘No First Placement of Weapons in Outer Space’, expressing commitment to prevent outer space from becoming an arena of military confrontation.

The Joint Statement was signed by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s Council of Foreign Ministers meeting held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, a Foreign Office statement said.

It said the outer space was being used by an increasing number of states and Pakistan consistently highlighted the risks of weaponisation which threatened the long term sustainability of peaceful space activities.

“The use of force against space-based objects, the development and deployment of Anti Ballistic Missile systems and their integration into space assets have added worrying dimensions to the issues relating to Outer Space,” the statement added.

The joint statement called for an urgent need to address gaps in the international legal regime governing the exploration and use of outer space with a view to ensuring that “no one threatens peaceful activities and applications of space technologies for socioeconomic development.

“Pakistan and Russia share a common position on the prevention of arms race in outer space and work collectively in various international fora towards that goal,” it said. It said the signing of Joint Statement was a reflection of convergence of views between the two sides and encouraged other responsible space-faring nations to follow this example.

Following is the text of Joint Statement signed by Pakistan and Russia:

Text of Joint Statement by The Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

“Noting the significance of Outer Space activities as an important factor of social, economic, scientific and technological development of States, as well as their role in maintaining national and global security,

Believe that Outer Space should be used in compliance with international law for the benefit of all Nations, regardless of the level of their economic, scientific or technological development,

Reiterate their commitment to the principle enshrined in Article 2 of the United Nations Charter – to refrain in international relations from the threat or use of force, including in Outer Space activities – and proceed from the assumption that all States will strictly adhere to that policy,

Emphasise that the achievement of an international treaty preventing the arms race in Outer Space as well as banning the placement or use of weapons therein is a priority for the international community, Declare that they will not in any way be the first to place weapons of any kind in Outer Space, that they will make all possible efforts to prevent Outer Space from becoming an arena for military confrontation and to ensure security in Outer Space activities.

The Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan call upon Space-faring Nations to follow their example.

Done on the 22nd of May, 2019 in Bishkek.