by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty
The United Nations Conference on Disarmament has adopted a programme of Work after 12 years of stalemate. UN Press Release:
CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT ADOPTS PROGRAMME OF WORK AFTER TWELVE YEARS OF STALEMATE
29 May 2009
After 12 years pf stalemate, the Conference on Disarmament this morning adopted by consensus document CD/1863, which contains a programme of work. Dozens of delegations took the floor to laude this historical moment, which had saved the world’s sole multilateral for disarmament negotiations.
Ambassador Idriss Jazairy of Algeria, outgoing President of the Conference on Disarmament, said that he had had a long career but today’s event was one of the high points of it and that it had been worth living for just that moment. The decision the members had taken today was one that would reinforce multilateralism. Today, they had not only saved the Conference on Disarmament from a possible demise but they had also set up what partnership could achieve when they could break the artificial barriers that sometimes separated the North and South today as East and West had been separated in the past. If the twenty-first century was about anything, then it was about saving the planet through multilateralism.
Argentina said that this morning the Conference on Disarmament had recovered its central role as the sole multilateral disarmament negotiating body, as designed by those who had set it up. China said that today’s event signified that the Conference on Disarmament had broken its stalemate and would start its substantive programme soon. Mexico noted that today was also the starting point of future hard work and hoped that the current positive atmosphere would prevail in the negotiations they would soon start. France said that through the adoption of the programme of work they had entered a new period in the work of the Conference on Disarmament. Austria hoped that they could start substantive work without further delay. Sweden said that without the President’s determination they might still be hesitating to take this historic step. The road ahead was still full of challenges, said Indonesia.
Turning to the upcoming work, India said that it was committed to participating constructively in the Fissile-Material Cut-off Treaty negotiations. India was willing to join only a non-discriminatory, multilaterally negotiated and internationally verifiable Fissile-Material Cut-off Treaty provided their security interests were fully addressed. Nuclear weapons were an integral part of their national security and would remain so pending the global elimination of all nuclear weapons on a universal, non-discriminatory basis. A Fissile-Material Cut-off Treaty would be a step forward to this goal. While joining the consensus on the programme of work, they were disappointed that the Conference had not been able to decide on launching negotiations on nuclear disarmament. Pakistan said that the allocation of time for the four Working Group should be balanced. The appointment of the Chairs of the Working Groups should also reflect equal geographical representation.
By decision CD/1863, on the establishment of a programme of work for the 2009 session, the Conference on Disarmament will establish several Working Groups. Under agenda item 1, cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament, it will establish a Working Group to exchange views and information on practical steps for progressive and systematic efforts to reduce nuclear weapons with the ultimate goal of their elimination, including on approaches toward potential future work of multilateral character. A second Working Group under this agenda item will negotiate a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, on the basis of the document CD/1299 of 24 March 1995 and the mandate contained therein (also known as the Shannon Mandate). It will also establish Working Groups on prevention of an arms race in outer space and on negative security assurances. The Conference will appoint Special Coordinators on the other agenda items, including weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons; radiological weapons; comprehensive programme of disarmament; and transparency in armaments; to seek the views of its members on the most appropriate way to deal with those issues.
Before the adoption of the programme of work, Iran indicated this morning that the delegation had forwarded the draft programme of work to their capital and had not received, until now, instructions about it. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said that they desired peace on the Korean Peninsula more than anything else. They had decided to support the draft decision in order for the Conference to be able to start its substantive work, even though a negative debate was still taking place in the Security Council in New York.
Speaking this morning were Ukraine, Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Morocco, India, Argentina, China, the United Kingdom, Chile, Mexico, Pakistan, France, Australia, Austria, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, the Russian Federation, the United States, Iraq, Indonesia, Ireland, the Republic of Korea, Spain, South Africa and Portugal.
The next plenary meeting of the Conference on Disarmament, which will be the first of this year’s session under the presidency of Argentina, will take place on Thursday, 4 June 2009 at 10 a.m.
MYKOLA MAIMESKUL (Ukraine) expressed his delegation’s sincere congratulations and gratitude for the President’s tremendous efforts, professionalism and wisdom in moving the Conference forward. He also commended the productive cooperation of the P6. During the meeting between the P6 and their regional group a few days ago, Ukraine had already expressed its strong welcome and support for the submitted draft programme of work. This document was an integrated outcome of hours of consultations and a considerable amount of many years’ consensus-building activity. Ukraine shared the priorities contained in CD/1863 and considered it to be not only a logical step in the right direction, but a fresh and powerful impulse to the momentum that had been created in order to reach consensus on the programme of work.
Recent developments in the sphere of international security indicated that proliferation of nuclear technologies in the world, along with the imperfection of the current system of legal regulation in the sphere of the fissile material’s production, created real threats of regional and global character. Mr. Maimeskul said that to Ukraine’s view, a legally binding and verifiable international treaty on fissile materials would significantly strengthen the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and should be the first priority of the Conference. Document CD/1863 reflected these ideas and paved the way for the commencement of Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty negotiations. They had, this year, a unique opportunity to add another page of compromise and flexibility to the history of international disarmament. Alongside with the positive signals from the recent Non-Proliferation Treaty PrepCom and the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II) negotiations between the United States and Russia, the adoption of the Conference on Disarmament’s programme of work might mark an important step forward in the disarmament agenda.
ALIREZA MOAIYERI (Iran) said that the presence of high-level dignitaries at the Conference on 19 May and the valuable remarks they had made deserved to be highly regarded. The efforts of the President were a clear example of Algeria’s commitment to multilateralism and to maintain international peace and solidarity. Iran had always supported the adoption of a balanced programme of work. He indicated that he had forwarded the draft programme of work to his capital and he had not received, until now, instructions about it.
AN MYONG HUN (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) said that upon the instruction of his capital he wanted to state that his country and his people desired peace on the Korean Peninsula more than anything else. Likewise they cherished their sovereignty and economic rights, despite the economic sanctions that were being imposed on them. In order to defend its people and its territory, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was aiming to possess nuclear weapons. This was only for their defence. The nature of statements made by “South Korea” and Japan this week at the Conference had only resulted in negative impacts on the developments in the Korean Peninsula. It had been their constant policy to achieve total nuclear disarmament and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea believed that it was those which possessed nuclear weapons that had to take the lead of nuclear disarmament.
Mr. An further indicated that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had closely followed the discussions around the proposed programme of work and they had always been supportive of the Conference’s work. Thus, he announced that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had decided to support the draft decision in order for the Conference to be able to start its substantive work, even though a negative debate was still taking place in the Security Council in New York.
OMAR HILALE (Morocco) paid tribute to the President’s untiring efforts to resolve the remaining stumbling blocks for the adoption of the programme of work. The current international context had seen nuclear powers being in favour of a reduction of nuclear weapons. Noteworthy were also the Chinese and Russian renewed efforts concerning the prevention of the weaponization of outer space. There was a positive monument for disarmament at the moment.
Turning to the proposed draft programme of work, Mr. Hilale said that it did not reflect the wishes of the Group of 21. They wished to see negotiations start not only on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, as currently proposed by the draft, but on all the four pillars of the Conference’s agenda. All the draft was doing was to set up working groups and in-depth discussions on the other items; in other words, exactly what the Conference on Disarmament had been doing for the last twelve years.
Mr. Hilale also said that the recent nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was a challenge which should push the international community to move forward to fulfil the international community’s wish of seeing the Conference on Disarmament going back to work. He further noted that they had not been able to meet with the President of the Conference and Morocco had declined to meet with the P6, as this was an informal body. Morocco defended multilateralism and wanted equal treatment for all. He further noted that he had just held bilateral negotiations with the President this morning. Morocco was aware of the importance of seizing this opportunity to restart the work of the Conference and to use the opportunity of the current positive atmosphere and they had thus decided not to oppose the consensus.
IDRISS JAZAIRY (Algeria), President of the Conference on Disarmament, in closing remarks on his last day as President of the Conference on Disarmament, said that he had started his presidency with the firm desire to make a modest contribution on behalf of his country to overcome the deadlock that had been prevailing in the Conference for 12 years. The current international context had also been propitious for such a move, as had been reflected in the statements made this year by Mr. Gordon Brown, the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, the joint statement by the United States President Mr. Barack Obama and Russian President Mr. Dimitri Medvedev, and before that by the European Union action plan introduced by the French Presidency to which one should add the ongoing support of China for the realisation of a world without nuclear weapons. All these were among many encouraging factors to resume the work of the Conference on Disarmament.
In this context, Mr. Jazairy said that he had joined his P6 colleagues with no pre-established ideas in a process of consultations with all Member States and which had included all the items under discussion with a view of enabling the Conference to navigate past all the stumbling blocks which remained. After these consultations they had reached the conclusion that: firstly they had a historic responsibility not to pass up this opportunity to re-launch the work of the Conference, otherwise they might have given a mortal blow to the Conference or sidelined it definitively and it was a way to consolidate a multilateral approach to settle the affairs of the world; secondly the programme of work had to be tackled in a comprehensive manner in order to take into account the concerns of all; and thirdly, the much sought after consensus had to follow-up on previous efforts.
In the light of the consultations that were undertaken collectively by the P6, the presidency had submitted on 26 March 2009 a non-paper which had contained elements which could have made up a programme of work and the P6 had thereafter continued its consultations in the inter-sessional period. The diplomatic corps in Algiers and in all the capitals with which Algeria had diplomatic relations had been mobilized and, happily, their initiative had enjoyed broad support. Encouraged by the majority of Member States, he and his P6 colleagues had agreed to introduce the presidential non paper as an official proposition by the 2009 P6 as document CD/1863, said Mr. Jazairy. This was not a perfect document but it was a compromise which provided a delicate balance among the many various items on the agenda. It represented an effort to combine all the numerous initiatives that had been taken inside the Conference since 1999.
The differences the proposal contained among the terms of the different mandates of the various items in no way established a hierarchy among the items, said Mr. Jazairy. It was rather to establish a foundation for a commitment to launch a dynamic of negotiations and exchange of views. The P6 was further encouraged by the fact that almost all delegations, with minor exceptions, had spoken in favour or had said that they would not oppose the adoption of the proposed programme of work. Thus, an adoption was within reach.
Mr. Jazairy invoked Rule 18 of the Conference on Disarmament, which said that a required consensus prevailed if there was no opposition to that consensus and asked if there were any objection to the adoption, by consensus, of the draft programme of work, as contained in document CD/1863.
Action on Draft Decision
In a decision (CD/1863), on the establishment of a programme of work for the 2009 session, adopted by consensus, the Conference on Disarmament establishes several Working Groups. Under agenda item 1, cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament, it establishes a Working Group to exchange views and information on practical steps for progressive and systematic efforts to reduce nuclear weapons with the ultimate goal of their elimination, including on approaches toward potential future work of multilateral character. A second Working Group under this agenda item will negotiate a treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, on the basis of the document CD/1299 of 24 March 1995 and the mandate contained therein (also known as the Shannon Mandate). It also establishes Working Groups on prevention of an arms race in outer space and on negative security assurances. The Conference will appoint Special Coordinators on the other agenda items, including weapons of mass destruction and new systems of such weapons; radiological weapons; comprehensive programme of disarmament; and transparency in armaments; to seek the views of its members on the most appropriate way to deal with those issues.
HAMID ALI RAO (India) wished to place on record India’s perspective on the programme of work just adopted and to spell out the essential basis of India’s concurrence for commencement of negotiations. They supported the establishment of a Working Group to negotiate a Fissile-Material Cut-off Treaty as part of the Conference’s programme of work. The scope of such a treaty should focus on the future production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other such nuclear explosive devices. India was committed to participate constructively in the Fissile-Material Cut-off Treaty negotiations. India was willing to join only a non-discriminatory, multilaterally negotiated and internationally verifiable Fissile-Material Cut-off Treaty provided their security interests were fully addressed. India was a nuclear weapon state and a responsible member of the world community and would approach these negotiations as such. The treaty should not place an undue burden on military non-proscribed activities.
India further attached the highest priority to the goal of nuclear disarmament. Nuclear weapons were an integral part of their national security and would remain so pending the global elimination of all nuclear weapons on a universal, non-discriminatory basis. A Fissile-Material Cut-off Treaty would be a step forward to this goal. While joining the consensus on the programme of work, they were disappointed that the Conference had not been able to decide on launching negotiations on nuclear disarmament. They felt that there was a heavy responsibility on the Conference to respond meaningfully to the growing international opinion in favour of nuclear disarmament. The Conference should continue to actively explore all possible avenues to advance work for actual commencement on negotiations on nuclear disarmament.
ROBERTO GARCIA MORITAN (Argentina) said that he had felt a real emotion when the President had banged the gavel to adopt the programme of work because he knew how much work had been involved in this. They were now at a tipping point and this morning the Conference on Disarmament had recovered its central role as the sole multilateral disarmament negotiating body, as designed by those who had set it up. Argentina would continue to work to give to the Conference the place it deserved.
WANG QUN (China) expressed China’s warm welcome for the adoption of the programme of work and congratulated the President and the P6 for their untiring efforts. The event signified that the Conference on Disarmament had broken its stalemate and would start its substantive programme soon. China would continue to contribute to international peace and security and would actively participate in the discussions and negotiations on the relevant items. China would continue to play its constructive role in this process.
JOHN DUNCAN (United Kingdom) congratulated the President and the P6 for their work which had led the Conference on Disarmament to today’s decision. Vision, courage, determination and steadfastness were qualities that had been shown by the President. This had been a long and arduous period. But today they had shown what could be done. This achievement had been a collective effort of all to reach out and find the element of a shared vision.
ALEJANDRO ROGERS (Chile) said how much he valued the work that had been done by the President and the P6. This had been a collective enterprise which had involved commitment and flexibility of all members. The adoption reflected the positive atmosphere of this year. Chile firmly supported the adoption of the programme of work. It was a carefully crafted document and delicately balanced. Chile would support this new initiative as they had supported all past initiatives that had sought to get the Conference back to work.
MABEL GOMEZ OLIVER (Mexico) said that she was personally moved by this historic moment. It was also the starting point of future hard work. Mexico was prepared to work with enthusiasm and energy to make steady decisive progress. An enormous amount of work was needed to achieve consensus of nuclear disarmament. They hoped that the current positive atmosphere would prevail in the negotiations they would soon start.
ZAMIR AKRAM (Pakistan) said that it was a great pleasure for him to see the President chairing this historic meeting. Every successive president of the past decade had played a role in making this happen. The Conference on Disarmament was the most appropriate and legitimate body to negotiate a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty. Document CD/1863 was not perfect but Pakistan had joined consensus because it represented a way to step out of the Conference’s stalemate. The allocation of time for the four Working Group should be balanced. The appointment of the Chairs of the Working Groups should also reflect equal geographical representation.
Mr. Akram said that the objective they all shared was a world free of nuclear weapons and they should not fail on this. Pakistan was committed to the vision of a nuclear weapons free world. Further a verifiable Fissile-Material Cut-off Treaty, covering stocks, would strengthen peace and stability. As was also envisaged by the programme of work, Pakistan would work on negative security assurances and the prevention of an arms race in outer space. The Conference should take these items up where they had left them in the past.
ERIC DANON (France) said “bravo, well done President!”. He also conveyed all his congratulations to the President. Through the adoption of the programme of work they had entered a new period in the work of the Conference on Disarmament. This was a long awaited opportunity to open up the negotiations on a Cut-off Treaty. France was delighted that they might be able to start this work very soon but today they should first rejoice and be satisfied with the achievement.
CAROLINE MILLAR (Australia) said that this was an historic moment. She had worked for many years on preparations for negotiations on nuclear non-proliferation and it looked like the Conference on Disarmament might really do this in the near future. These issues were vital for world peace. It seemed that the Conference had to use the reminder of 2009 very wisely and that it should develop clear ideas on how to organize itself for 2010 to be able to start its work.
ALEXANDER MARSCHIK (Austria) said Austria accorded a priority to disarmament. This decision today could become a historic turning point. They hoped they could start substantive work without further delay. Today’s decision had become possible due to positive international developments and due to the spirit of compromise shown by delegations in the room. The President had acted as a fair Chair and proved himself a real “citoyen du monde”.
MAGNUS HELLGREN (Sweden) expressed great satisfaction for the decision the Conference on Disarmament had just taken. He expressed special thanks to the President, his delegation and his P6 colleagues. Without the President’s determination they might still be hesitating to take this historic step. He further hoped that as of next week they would be ready to meet the challenges of fulfilling the tasks ahead.
ABDELWAHEB JEMAL (Tunisia) warmly welcomed this historic moment and welcomed as well the praiseworthy efforts that had been deployed this morning, just before the opening of this meeting. He also paid tribute to the P6. The adoption of the programme of work should constitute a pertinent basis for the work of the Conference on Disarmament to achieve the praiseworthy goals they all held dear. When they looked at the historic importance of this year, they saw 12 years erased in one blink of an eye.
OBAIDA EL-DANDARAWY (Egypt) expressed how much Egypt appreciated the efforts of the President which demonstrated to the international community that constructive work to move forward in the area of disarmament was possible and not a mirage. Egypt was ready to work with all delegations to achieve the Conference on Disarmament’s goals.
FAYSAL KHABBAZ HAMOUI (Syria) said that this was an historic day and henceforth the world would refer back to this day as a reference point. The decision taken this morning was extremely important. Syria thanked the P6 and the President for his professionalism and his diplomatic qualities. The Conference had a hard task ahead but Syria would endeavour to take advantage of the positive international climate. Syria would make every effort possible to help move forward the programme of work with all transparency.
VICTOR VASILIEV (Russia) congratulated the President and the P6 for today’s success. Russia very much hoped that this would open up a new chapter for new agreements in international peace and security. Russia was prepared to work with the President to implement all the decisions contained in the programme of work. Today’s achievement had been made possible thanks to the positive international climate. They hoped that this positive climate could be transformed into agreements. He also noted that Strategic Arms Reduction discussions between the United States and Russia would soon start in Geneva.
GAROLD LARSON (United States) echoed the gratitude and the congratulations extended to the President and to the entire P6. After a decade of stalemate they were now looking forward to the future work, which would surely also be challenging. They would continue to exhort all efforts.
ABBAS ABBAS (Iraq) congratulated the P6 and the President for his efforts, his patience and hard work to get the document adopted. Through it, he and other members had enabled the Conference to resume its true role. It was an historic moment and they fully trusted that all members would seek collective responsibility in achieving the Conference’s goals.
DIAN TRIANSYAH DJANI (Indonesia) thanked the President. All of them had lost a lot of sleep in the last days. Today they had opened a new chapter in the history of the Conference on Disarmament. The road ahead was still full of challenges. But by continuing to talk they would be able to achieve the vision they all shared. They hoped that the current momentum would be kept in the work ahead.
JAMES O’SHEA (Ireland) said that they now had the possibility to see significant work and results emerge in the Conference on Disarmament. He also referred to the first anniversary of last year’s adoption of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. But today’s adoption had been a much more difficult task. Ireland was extremely happy that the established machinery for disarmament had shown its ability to go back to work.
IM HAN-TAEK (Republic of Korea) said the Republic of Korea believed the President had demonstrated excellent leadership and creativity which had brought them to the long sought programme. Now that the door of negotiations had opened today, they hoped that the sprit of consensus would prevail in the upcoming work on negotiations of a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty.
GERADO BUGALLO (Spain) congratulated the President and the members of the P6. Spain had always endeavoured to be part of the solution to move the Conference forward. But they could not forget that work was starting now, that was when the ability of people to work in several directions at the same time would be tested.
JOHANN KELLERMAN (South Africa) congratulated the members of the Conference and the President and said how much he was delighted by the fact that they had reached the point of agreeing on the programme of work.
MARIO DUARTE (Portugal) congratulated the President and the P6 platform for today’s important achievement. Portugal was very happy with this development and they would continue to follow the work of the Conference on Disarmament very closely.
IDRISS JAZAIRY (Algeria), President of the Conference on Disarmament, concluded the meeting by saying that he had had a long career but today’s event was one of the high points of it and that it had been worth living for just that moment. The decision the members had taken today was one that would reinforce multilateralism. His career had been closely associated with multilateralism. Today, they had not only saved the Conference on Disarmament from a possible demise but they had also set up what partnership could achieve when they could break the artificial barriers that sometimes separated the North and South today as East and West had been separated in the past.
Today’s success would permeate to other meetings in Geneva. If the twenty-first century was about anything, then it was about saving the planet through multilateralism. Mr. Jazairy further paid tribute to the wisdom of the membership of the Conference for having made this achievement possible. It had been a difficult task and suspense had prevailed until the last minute. He also extended his appreciation to the Members that had problems and had not gotten instructions until the last minute and this had made it possible to save this forum.
Mr. Jazairy further paid tribute to those who had initiated the P6 platform. The alphabet had put him together with colleagues from other regions. This had forced them to move from their positions to an awareness of common interest. He also extended his thanks to the United Nations Secretary-General for his support. Lastly he revealed a state secret by noting that all of this was not only the result of the work of the P6, as Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika had himself been personally involved in the process. He went out of his way to mobilize the whole of Algeria’s diplomatic corps so that any hurdle that was in the way of the adoption of the programme of work could be removed.
COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 428/2009 of 5 May 2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items (Recast)May 29, 2009 at 11:02 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment
by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty
COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 428/2009 of 5 May 2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items (Recast) (L 134/1) has been published in the official Journal of the European Union. The regulkation controls a variety of technology including “Category 9: Aerospace and Propulsion” found on page L 134/237.
by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty
South Korea (CNN) — U.S. satellite imagery has spotted “vehicle activity” at a North Korean ballistic missile site, two Defense Department officials said Friday.
South Korean soldiers ride in armored vehicles during a drill Friday in the border city of Paju.
This activity is similar to that before a long-range missile launch by North Korea earlier this year.
North Korea test-fired a short-range missile Friday off the country’s east coast, a South Korean military source said. It would be the sixth such missile test since the country conducted a nuclear test Monday.
Also Friday, North Korea upbraided the U.N. Security Council for slamming its nuclear test, calling the members of the body “hypocrites” and warning of “stronger self-defense countermeasures” as the world body considers more sanctions against the country.
“There is a limit to our patience,” the Foreign Ministry said in a combative statement. Watch how the U.S. is responding to the latest launch »
North Korea blasted the Security Council’s condemnations of the nuclear test on Monday and the launch in April of what North Korea called a satellite but other countries called a long-range missile.
The North Korean actions are regarded as violations of Security Council Resolution 1718. Adopted in 2006 after North Korea conducted a nuclear test, the measure imposes sanctions Pyongyang and warns it should “not conduct any further nuclear test or launch of a ballistic missile.”
North Korea agreed in 2008 to scrap its nuclear weapons program — which it said had produced enough plutonium for about seven bombs — in exchange for economic aid. But the deal foundered over verification and disclosure issues.
The Security Council has been working on a new and tougher resolution in response to the latest developments. Watch Hillary Clinton’s warning about “consequences” »
“If the U.N. Security Council will make further provocative actions, this will inevitably lead to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s approach toward adopting stronger self-defensive counter-measures,” the North Korean statement said.
The statement said Resolution 1718 was “fabricated” by “hypocrites.”
“The recent nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the 2,054th one on the Earth. The five permanent members of the U.N. Security council have conducted 99.99 percent of all the nuclear tests,” the statement said.
“Those countries have posed the biggest nuclear threats to the world.”
Noting that it’s not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or the Missile Technology Control Regime, North Korea said it “has a right to conduct as many nuclear tests or missile launches as it wants in the event that the supreme interests of the state are infringed upon.”
Meanwhile, senior Obama administration officials said a high-level U.S. delegation is going to Asia for a series of “intensive consultations” on what North Korea’s increasingly alarming behavior means for American security alliances in the region.
The goal, they said, is to persuade Pyongyang that going back to the negotiating table is the only option. North Korea has been negotiating over its nuclear program with the United States, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea in six-party talks.
Seriously complicating matters is the health of ailing North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. Officials have said nobody knows who is running North Korea, one of the most opaque and mysterious countries in the world. There is also no clear line of succession in place once Kim dies. iReport.com: A visit to North Korea
South Korean and U.S. forces were placed on their second-highest surveillance alert level Thursday, the joint forces announced.
The last time the joint forces raised the “Watchcon” surveillance alert was after the 2006 North Korean nuclear test, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.
“Additional intelligence assets, including personnel, will be deployed while reconnaissance operations over North Korea will increase,” South Korean defense spokesman Won Tae-jae said, according to Yonhap. He declined to give specific details, the news agency said.
by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty
The Council of the European Union has adopted a resolution on “Space Council” Orientations. It addresses the following subject matter:
I) On the contribution of space to innovation and competitiveness in the context of the European Plan for Innovation and the European Economic Recovery Plan
II) On GMES Initial Operations
III) On the long-term arrangements for the GMES Space Component (GSC)
IV) On space exploration
V) On adequate instruments and funding schemes
by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty
From the IMSO:
IMSO NEWS 015
27 May 2009
IMSO SIGNS LRIT SERVICES AGREEMENT WITH EUROPEAN MARITIME
SAFETY AGENCY (EMSA)
The IMSO Director General, Captain Esteban Pacha-Vicente, today signed an LRIT Services Agreement with the Executive Director of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), Mr Willem de Ruiter, in the presence of both the Chairman of the IMSO Assembly and of the IMSO Advisory Committee, as well as members of the IMSO and EMSA Directorates.
EMSA is the European Agency appointed by the Ministers of Transport of the European Union (EU), through a Resolution of the EU Council, to set up and operate an EU LRIT Data Centre in cooperation with the EU Member States.
The LRIT Services Agreement, prescribed in the IMSO Convention, establishes the relationship between IMSO, as the LRIT Coordinator appointed by IMO, and the LRIT DC for the audit and review of each Data Centre. A Model LRIT Services Agreement was approved for this purpose by the IMSO Assembly.
LRIT Services Agreements have already been signed with Chile, Panama and Turkey, and IMSO is continuing negotiations with several other LRIT Data Centres in order to conclude all the necessary formalities to ensure the timely and successful implementation of the LRIT system.
Captain Pacha paid tribute to the spirit of cooperation which had prevailed during the negotiation of the Services Agreement with EMSA, which had resulted in an Agreement which was satisfactory to both parties, and ensured the provision of LRIT services throughout the twenty nine Members of the EU.
Mr de Ruiter said: I am very satisfied with the very good progress of the LRIT system over the last months and I wish to personally congratulate all parties involved, including IMSO, for the professionalism and hard work which makes possible such significant achievements. Signing the audit Services Agreement today is a clear proof of the commitment of EMSA and IMSO to make the LRIT system operational within the IMO deadline.
The Chairmen of both the IMSO Assembly and the IMSO Advisory Committee highlighted the importance of the execution of LRIT Services Agreement in order that the decisions taken by both IMO and the IMSO Assembly are implemented towards progressing the audit and review of Data Centres in the international LRIT system, which is the core function of IMSO as LRIT Coordinator.
by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty
the Council of the European Union has posted a document titled 8655/09 – “EGNOS and Galileo programmes. The Document Includes the following question:
WRITTEN QUESTION E-1985/09
by Anne Laperrouze (ALDE)
to the Council
Subject: EGNOS and Galileo programmes
In connection with the financial rules governing the in-orbit validation (IOV) contract, industry has again had to face institutional deadlock that has been resolved by what amounts – regrettably – to another makeshift quick fix.
The European institutions and the arrangements applying between the European Commission and the European Space Agency are exposing industry to wholly exceptional risks and constraints (at both national and international level).
Galileo is about to enter a critical industrial phase in which a final decision will be taken on the selection of suppliers and their contracts will be finalised.
There is a particularly great deal at stake in terms of industrial risks and jobs and, of course, as regards the success of the programme.
What is needed, therefore, both for industry and for the Galileo and EGNOS programmes, is overall coherence, that is to say, visibility and long-term commitments.
The institutional response has to move into line with industrial reality and not the other way round (implying a need for better decision-making and for long-term commitments to be formalised). What solutions should be brought to bear on the constraints affecting these programmes and the industries that will implement them?
The above points apply equally to EGNOS, the forerunner of Galileo in a number of respects, which has been fully operational for more than a year, but for which no contract has yet been formally concluded with those who will be called upon to carry out long-term operations, keep the programme running, and develop it over the next five years, starting on 1 April 2009. What is involved here is certification of the system and the marketing of its signals, as well as the success of Galileo.
The draft answer to the question is also included:
to Written Question E-1985/09
put by Anne Laperrouze (ALDE)
The importance of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes for the EU has been stressed by the European Council and the Council several times. Recently, at its meeting of October 2008, the Council expressed its expectation that space applications such as EGNOS and Galileo would create substantial global market opportunities, specifically for SMEs.
The Galileo and EGNOS programmes are among the priority projects included in the Lisbon Strategy and contribute to the fulfilment of a broader macroeconomic agenda with the aim of creating sound economic perspectives for both industry and workers, in order to maximise socioeconomic benefits. They also represent one of the major pillars of the European Space Programme.
These programmes aim at the establishment of a first global satellite and radio navigation and positioning infrastructure specifically designed for civilian purposes and at improving the quality of signals from existing global satellite navigation systems.
To achieve these objectives, in July 2008, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Regulation (EC) n° 683/2008 on the further implementation of the European satellite navigation programmes (EGNOS and Galileo).
The Regulation provides for the financing of this project from Community funds and constitutes the legal basis for the budgetary implementation of the programmes, by stipulating the amount allocated to finance the next phase of the programmes. The Regulation furthermore provides for a strict division of responsibilities between the different parties involved in the implementation and the supervision of the programmes, notably a strict division of responsibilities between the European Community, the European GNSS Supervisory Authority and the European Space Agency (ESA).
The Commission will be the owner of all tangible and intangible assets created or developed under the programmes and will be responsible for the management of the programmes. The GNSS Supervisory Authority, while respecting the Commission’s role as manager of the programmes, will accomplish certain tasks such as security accreditation of the systems and the operation of the Galileo Security Centre and other delegated tasks, as well as contribute to preparations for the commercialisation of the system. Through a delegation agreement with the European Community, ESA will be responsible for procuring the infrastructure in accordance with the principles for procurement set out in the Regulation as well as with the Community’s procurement rules.
The Council will monitor the implementation of Regulation n° 638/2008 and is currently awaiting the report on its implementation which will be presented by the Commission at the end of April, in accordance with Article 22 of the Regulation, together with the preliminary draft budget.
by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty
Source: Smart Money
GENEVA (AFP)–The U.S. Tuesday signaled that it was ready to put aside its qualms and support the latest compromise proposal to break more than a decade of deadlock in nuclear disarmament talks in Geneva.
U.S. charge d’affaires Garold Larson said Washington was prepared to resume talks on the basis of the broad proposal put forward by a group of non-nuclear states earlier this month, despite some doubts about the wording.
“But we are close, and I am gratified to state that the United States is prepared to join that consensus as soon as it is reached, under the existing text,” Larson told the Conference on Disarmament.
He said the proposal offered a way to begin talks on the U.S. priority, a verifiable treaty banning the production of bomb-making fissile material, “as well as serious discussions on the range of other disarmament matters that reflect the ongoing concerns of Conference on Disarmament members.”
The proposal by the P6 negotiating group – Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Argentina, Australia and Austria – “has a solid prospect of achieving full consensus,” he added.
Talks on a fissile material cut-off treaty have been on the table in various forms since 1995, but the conference members – who must agree unanimously – have repeatedly failed to agree on an agenda.
Russia and China have also been demanding talks on a treaty preventing an arms race in outer space, which the U.S. has rejected, especially under the Bush administration.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty
May 27, 2009
Commercial Satellite Imagery of Yongbyon Nuclear Site from May 26, 2009
Several South Korean news agencies have reported that North Korea may have begun reprocessing spent nuclear fuel at its plutonium separation plant at Yongbyon1. These reports apparently reference recent classified US imagery which reportedly show steam present at the reprocessing facility. North Korea runs an adjacent coal-fired plant to generate steam for processes at the reprocessing plant. Commercial satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe taken on May 26, 2009 does not show any steam from the pipes running from the coal-fired plant to the reprocessing plant (see figure 1). The May 26th imagery also does not show any smoke from the chimney at the coal-fired plant, nor any plume from the stacks at the reprocessing plant (see figures 2 and 3). North Korea
announced in April that it intended to reprocess spent fuel at the facility. It is difficult to know when that reprocessing will start or finish.
There also does not appear to be any construction activity at the site of the destroyed cooling tower for the 5MW reactor at Yongbyon (see figure 4). North Korea had disabled the cooling tower in a dramatic implosion in June of 2008.
by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty
China, Brazil to offer satellite data to Africa
Date：2009-05-21 size：L M S
BEIJING, May 20 (Xinhua) — China and Brazil will provide satellite observation data for African countries through a joint space program, according to agreements inked here on Wednesday.
The Earth receiving stations of Hartebeeshoek in South Africa, Aswan in Egypt and Maspaloms in Spain will process and distribute data from the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite-02B (CBERS-02B) to African states.
“It’s also for the first time China became an exporter of Earth observation data,” said Guo Jianning, general director of the China Center for Resources Satellite Data and Application.
Before that, China could only buy or share processed information such as satellite pictures from or with other countries, he said.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, at the last leg of his three-day China tour, witnessed the signing of the agreements at the Chinese space center in the northwest suburb of Beijing.
“Those agreements indicated the support and importance China and Brazil attached to African countries, which is also an example of science and technology cooperation between developing countries,” Guo said.
The CBERS project was kicked off in 1988 and the first CBERS satellite was launched in 1999. So far, there are three CBERS satellites in space and a fourth one is scheduled to be sent into space in 2011.
Those satellites served for gathering information about land use, agricultural products estimation, water resources investigation, mine exploration, laying out of urban area, environmental protection and monitoring of coast.
“The CBERS satellites have become an important data source for the world and we will continue and expand cooperation with Brazil, as well as some other countries that have show interest,” said Zhang Qingjun, top Chinese designer of the CBERS project.
by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty
From the Ukrainian Space Agency:
Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Approved by 354 Votes the Act “About the Amendments to Some Acts of Ukraine on Space Activity”
The Act of Ukraine “About the Amendments to Some Acts of Ukraine on Space Activity” renews the certain tax preferences for the enterprises of Ukrainian space industry for the period till January 1, 2015. These tax preferences were provided by the Act “About the State Support of Space Activity” and were repealed by the Act “About the Amendments to the Act of Ukraine”About the State Budget of Ukraine for 2005” and Some Other Legislative Acts of Ukraine”, which was carried on March 25, 2005.
The reporter from NSAU was Director-General Olexandr Zinchenko, the reporter from Verkhovna Rada was the Head of the Committee on Tax and Customs Policy Sergiy Teryohin.
The realization of this Act will provide the development of space activity of Ukraine, will create necessary conditions to fulfill international obligations of Ukraine on realization of international space projects”Sea Launch”, “Cyclone 4” and other, will help to widen the scopes of cooperation with other countries and to create additional workplaces, and will allow to preserve the status of Ukraine as the space state.
The Act will come into force on January 1, 2010.