Thank you, Madame Vice President. I am honored to represent the Department of State today and will provide an update on our diplomatic efforts.
As you mentioned, our colleagues at NASA are doing incredible work to return humans to the Moon. At the same time, we have been working together to expand the reach of the Artemis Accords.
With the Accords, we are inviting other spacefaring nations to come join us in a common vision – a practical set of principles grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 – for safe, transparent, and responsible behavior in space, that will facilitate exploration, science, and commercial activities for all of humanity to enjoy.
The Accords family has expanded from 13 to 21 nations since this Council’s last meeting with the signatures of Mexico, Israel, Romania, Bahrain, Singapore, Colombia, France, and Saudi Arabia.
Later this month, the United States, along with Brazil and France, will be hosting the first gathering of the Accords signatories on the sidelines of the International Astronautical Congress in Paris. The participants will discuss how to operationalize the Accords in civil and commercial contexts, and how to continue the expansion of signatory nations.
I am joined today by my colleague Mallory Stewart, the Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance. She and her team work to advance the national security space policies of the U.S. government internationally.
Next week, Assistant Secretary Stewart will travel to Geneva for the second meeting of a United Nations Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) on Reducing Space Threats. The United States, working in close partnership with our allies and like-minded countries, sees this working group as an important opportunity for all nations to work constructively to advance rules, norms, and principles of responsible behavior in outer space.
Madame Vice President, as you have previously underscored, the establishment of new international norms for outer space should start with a commitment by all spacefaring nations not to conduct destructive direct-ascent anti-satellite missile testing.
[As you have also noted][In this regard], the United States will sponsor a resolution calling on States to make this commitment at the upcoming session of the UN General Assembly. In the coming weeks, Assistant Secretary Stewart and her team will have extensive engagements with other delegations in New York. Our goal is to ensure this resolution is adopted with the broadest possible support.
Finally, the Department of State’s diplomatic efforts on space security norms are complemented by continued U.S. leadership at the UN Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) in Vienna. For nearly six-and-a-half decades, this committee has played an indispensable role in upholding and strengthening the rules-based international order for outer space.
In preparation for these and other diplomatic engagements the Department of State is working with U.S. commercial industry as well as academia to catalog U.S. best practices for spaceflight safety and the implementation of consensus guidelines for space sustainability.
Thank you very much.