Mr. President,

Ensuring the peaceful, safe and sustainable use of outer space contributes to our security and prosperity. It is in the common interest of all States. It is the responsibility not only of the dedicated bodies, but also of this Council, to preserve space for future generations.

Switzerland insists that the different approaches to space security are complementary. We remain committed to our position that it is imperative to prevent an arms race as well as armed conflict in outer space, and to this end the placement of all types of weapons, including conventional ones, should be prohibited. To achieve these objectives, we believe it is necessary to develop standards of responsible behavior as well as legally binding instruments.

After negotiating the resolution put forward by Japan and the United States, which unfortunately failed in the face of the veto, and examining Russia's current draft, we believe there would be enough common ground to reach a consensus. Although we support several elements of the draft presented, we regret that the spirit of flexibility and a framework of trust were lacking, and that our suggestions to produce a text that would unite us, rather than divide us, were not taken into account. We have therefore decided to abstain on this project.

Yet this council should act in a spirit of cooperation, and make issues such as space safety a common ground of understanding, rather than an arena of confrontation where everyone tries to score points. We regret that this was not the case this time, and hope that future opportunities will be seized to reconcile positions and reach common ground.

Switzerland stresses that implementation of the provisions of the Outer Space Treaty is mandatory for States Parties, and we once again call on all States that have not yet done so to accede to it without delay.

Switzerland remains convinced that it is necessary and possible to agree on a product in this Council on an issue as important for international security and the prosperity of each of our countries. We call on all members to unite and seek solutions, focusing on commonalities rather than differences, to achieve results that advance disarmament rather than deepen divisions.

I thank you.

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