Traditional Chinese New Year, the Year of Roster, has just arrived. As we part with the old and usher in the New Year, I would like to wish you success in your tireless effort to advance the work of the CD, and to wish everybody good health and all the best in all your endeavours.
Progress in science and technology has put the peaceful uses and development of outer space within the reach of more and more countries in their efforts to benefit the people. At the same time, however, the research on and development of outer space weapons have also intensified, theories of outer space war contemplated, and the threat of the weaponization of outer space has increased. Given the obvious inadequacies in the international legal system for outer space, it is utmost necessary and urgent for the international community to prevent the weaponization of and an arms race in outer space.
In order to consolidate the international community's common understanding on the issue of prevention of an arms race in outer space and ensuring the security of outer space, China, Russia, UNIDIR and Canada's Simons Foundation will jointly hold an international conference on "Safeguarding Space Security: Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space" on the 21st and the 22nd of March at the Palais des Nations. Internationally well-known scholars, government officials and industry representatives are invited to exchange their views on wide-ranging topics covering the peaceful uses of outer space, the necessity and urgency of the prevention of an arms race in outer space, the protection of space assets, the main elements of future legal instrument on outer space, the monitoring and compliance for the international instrument, etc.
On behalf of the sponsors, I would like to invite delegates of the CD members and observers to attend the conference and actively participate in the discussions. Invitation letters will follow. With the expert assistance of UNIDIR, it is our hope that everyone will benefit from this conference.
Thank you, Mr. President.