|07STATE157671||2007-11-17 01:26:00||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||Secretary of State|
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1. (U) This is an action message. See paragraphs 3 - 6.
2. (SBU) BACKGROUND: On October 9, the Portuguese MFA's
Security and Disarmament Division, in its role as chair of
the EU Working Group on Global Arms Control, provided Embassy
Lisbon with a non-paper on a proposed EU "Code of Conduct for
Space Objects" (REFTEL). Portugal requested a U.S. response
in support of an EU-only experts meeting, scheduled for
December 7. Portuguese officials indicated that they also
are soliciting comments from Russia and China.
3. (SBU) FOR LISBON: Embassy Lisbon is requested to hand
over the U.S. non-paper (contained in paragraph 5 below) to
the Portuguese Presidency of the EU. Embassy Lisbon is also
authorized to provide a line-in/line-out mark-up version of
original EU non-paper (to be transmitted via e-mail). Embassy
Lisbon should the request that the Portuguese Presidency of
the EU treat both the non-paper and line-in/line-out mark-up
as "Restreint UE." Embassy Lisbon also should indicate that
the U.S. welcomes further exchanges on this topic with
Portugal and future EU Presidencies.
4. (SBU) FOR LONDON AND PARIS: Embassies London and Paris are
requested to hand over the U.S. non-paper contained in
paragraph 7 to the UK FCO and the French MFA. Embassies
London and Paris are also authorized to provide HMG and GoF
with the line-in/line-out mark-up version of the original EU
non-paper (to be transmitted via e-mail). Embassies should
indicate that this is the U.S. response to the Portuguese
Presidency's request, and that the U.S. welcomes
opportunities for discussions on specific points at future
bilateral space security dialogue discussions.
5. (SBU) FOR USEU: Following handover to Portugal, USEU is
authorized to provide a courtesy copy of the non-paper and
line-in/line-out mark-up to the European Commission.
6. (SBU) FOR GENEVA: Following handover to Portugal, USDEL to
the Conference on Disarmament is authorized to provide
courtesy copies of the non-paper and line-in/line-out mark-up
to CD Delegations of EU Member States. Ambassador Rocca is
also authorized to share copies of the non-paper and mark-up
with non-EU members of the CD Western Group (WEOG).
7. (SBU) BEGIN TEXT OF U.S. NON-PAPER
United States Non-Paper
November 16, 2007
The United States is pleased to respond to the Portuguese
Presidency,s request of October 9, 2007, for comments on the
European Union's draft Code of Conduct for Space Objects.
The United States welcomes opportunities for substantive
discussions on outer space Transparency and Confidence
Building Measures (TCBMs) with all established and emerging
Such discussions can build upon the shared values expressed
in both the U.S. National Space Policy of August 31, 2006,
and the European Space Policy of May 22, 2007. These values
include our shared and long-standing support for the
principle of free access to, and the use of, space by all
nations for peaceful purposes. They also include our common
interest in using outer space both to maintain international
peace and security and to promote international cooperation
The United States opposes efforts which would link
discussions on pragmatic TCBMs with efforts to negotiate
agreements for preventing the so-called "weaponization of
outer space" or efforts to establish new legal regimes or
other restrictions that seek to prohibit or limit access to,
or use of, outer space for peaceful purposes.
STATE 00157671 002 OF 003
The United States strongly supports efforts to preserve the
space environment and to ensure safe and responsible space
operations. In this regard, we believe that international
cooperation should focus upon voluntary guidelines for safe
space operations. Such guidelines can be applicable to all
peaceful uses of space. The United States believes these
"Best Practice Guidelines" should be developed first in
expert-level discussions involving relevant government and
private sector satellite operators. Where appropriate,
specific guidelines developed in these expert-level
discussions can be the subject of discussions with allies and
like-minded states, and may be submitted to the United
Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
(COPUOS) for consideration by the broader community of
established and emerging spacefaring nations. Such efforts
can build upon this Committee,s recent successful work on
debris mitigation guidelines, an effort that was greatly
facilitated by the close collaboration between the United
States and European members of COPUOS.
Where appropriate, the United States also is willing to
engage in substantive discussions on proposals for new TCBMs.
The United States welcomes opportunities for expanded
trans-Atlantic dialogue with European experts on possible new
TCBMs. The U.S. also will continue to engage in discussions
with Russia and other spacefaring nations on complementary
bilateral TCBMs that can promote cooperation and reduce
uncertainty in the conduct of safe space operations.
In this regard, the United States views many of the ideas
contained in the European Union draft as constructive
contributions to international discussions on measures that
protect the space environment and protect free access to, and
use of, space for the benefit of all nations. We believe the
EU draft could form the basis for an international consensus
that reflects the shared views of the Euro-Atlantic community.
With an eye toward building such a consensus, the United
States offers the attached comments, which propose the
- Throughout the draft, replace references to "Code of
Conduct" with the term "Best Practice Guidelines" to
emphasize the voluntary nature of the proposed measures.
- In the first ("Framework") section, modify wording to:
--Drop linkages between consideration of TCBMs and efforts to
prevent a so-called "weaponization" of outer space;
-- Focus on relevant areas of shared EU-U.S. agreement,
including the 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the
Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water, instruments of
the International Telecommunication Union, and public release
of comprehensive space policies; and
-- Drop references to measures which suggest that TCBMs must
be connected to space arms control agreements, including UN
General Assembly resolution 61/58.
- In the second section, adapt wording to reflect shared EU
and U.S. support for the "Basic Objectives" of:
-- Ensuring free access to, and use of, outer space by all
nations for peaceful purposes;
-- Preserving freedom of action in space while protecting
critical space capabilities;
-- Recognizing that space capabilities support vital security
and foreign policy interests; and
-- Conducting space activities in accordance with
international law, including the UN Charter.
- In the third section, create an "Operational" subsection
-- Propose measures for the sharing of space environment data
and for developing standardized data formats for information
-- Propose measures that recognize existing and emerging best
practices for human spaceflight safety and collision
-- Replace the measure restricting "any manoeuvre or action"
with a proposed measure to provide notification of other
concerned satellite operators in the event of a spacecraft
-- Clarify language in proposed measures relating to the
intentional creation of debris and mitigation of possibility
STATE 00157671 003 OF 003
SUBJECT: U.S. RESPONSE TO EU DRAFT CODE OF CONDUCT FOR
of accidents, collision or other forms of harmful
-- Clarify language in the proposed measure for minimizing
the risk of harmful interference to other nations, space
-- Clarify language in measures for responding to, and
resolving, harmful interference incidents; and
-- Delete a proposed measure on "special caution areas," a
technically vague concept that could unduly restrict
fundamental rights of passage through, and operations in,
space without interference.
- Also in the third section, create a "Transparency"
-- Proposes a measure encouraging disclosure of basic details
on high-level space policies;
-- Clarifies language in proposed measures relating to space
activity notification and Registration Convention compliance;
-- Removes proposed measures on prior notification of
satellite approaches, which could unduly restrict
fundamental rights of passage through, and operations in,
space without interference;
-- Removes a proposed measure regarding "space weapons,"
which is a term that remains indefinable; and
-- Removes a proposed measure regarding "dual-use character,"
which is also an indefinable concept.
END TEXT OF U.S. NON-PAPER
8. (U) Any reporting on this subject should be flagged for
the Department (ISN/MDSP:Richard H. Buenneke) and Geneva (CD).