EU seeks code of conduct for outer space activities

February 13th, 2009 - 7:47 am ICT by IANS  

Geneva, Feb 13 (Xinhua) A set of international code of conduct is needed to ensure safety and security of all outer space activities, the European Union (EU) has said.
One Tuesday, a Russian and a US satellite collided in space above Siberia.

EU said it had already been preparing a draft proposal for such an international code, and an initial draft text had been actually approved by the EU in December.

The main objective of the code is to strengthen the safety, security and predictability of all space activities, civil or military, said Czech Ambassador Ivan Pinte, whose country currently holds the EU presidency.

According to the EU’s draft code, signatory states should maintain freedom of access and use of outer space “for peaceful purposes without interference, fully respecting the security, safety and integrity of space objects in orbit”.

There should also be due consideration to the legitimate defence interests of states.

“The European Union is currently consulting other space-faring nations on the text with the aim of reaching a consensus … that would be acceptable for as many states as possible,” Pinte said at a session of the 65-state Conference on Disarmament Thursday

Pinte also noted that the code should be signed on a voluntary basis, and it is open to all states.

One privately owned US communications satellite collided with a defunct Russian satellite in space Tuesday, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds, NASA said Wednesday.

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