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updated 12:00 PM UTC, Mar 9, 2017

BRICS Joint Statement Regarding the Principles of Elaboration of International Instruments on Outer Spacе Activities

The BRICS comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa,

Sharing the desire of the international community to strengthen the security and the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, as well as to ensure that outer space is used for peaceful purposes and for the benefit of all States, irrespective of the degree of their social, economic or scientific development,

Recognizing the relevance of the idea to elaborate аn international instrument of a voluntary nature, which would contain rules of behaviour in outer space that are acceptable to all States, and taking note of the work undertaken by the EU in this regard,

Reaffirm their position that the elaboration of such an instrument should be held in the format of inclusive and consensus-based multilateral negotiations within the framework of the UN, based on a proper and unequivocal mandate, without specific deadlines and taking into account the interests of all States, irrespective of their level of development, in order to reach a balanced outcome that addresses the needs and reflects the concerns of all participants,

Stress that an instrument aimed at complementing the existing international legal framework applicable to outer space activities should not contradict or undermine the existing agreements, arrangements and principles in this field,

Underline that such an instrument should actively promote international cooperation in the uses of outer space for peaceful purposes and should not be discriminatory by including provisions that would in fact set up thresholds that would limit the equal right of exploration and use of outer space by developing countries and emerging space-faring nations,

Assert that such an instrument should not contain provisions subject to discretionary national interpretation which could undermine the security and the long-term sustainability of outer spacе activities, decrease predictability in outer space and impact negatively on efforts to prevent an arms race in outer space,

Share the view that such an instrument should be based on transparency and confidence-building measures balanced from political, legal and technical perspectives, and that work on TCBMs should not prejudice or delay the elaboration of legally-binding instruments to strengthen the existing legal framework for outer space,

Take note that elaboration of such a document should not in any way duplicate or replace the work being currently carried out through other initiatives aimed at strengthening the security and the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, in particular, the safety of space operations,

Call upon all States to adhere to these principles while elaborating international instruments regulating outer space activities,

We believe that the appropriate outcome for this meeting would be for the meeting to conclude that the process be taken forward in the UN by agreeing upon a mandate for negotiating an internationally-supported instrument on outer space activities for peaceful purposes in an inclusive and transparent manner on the basis of consensus.

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