Sri Lanka abstains from UN vote on resolution against ASAT tests

Sri Lanka abstains from UN vote on resolution against ASAT tests

Sri Lanka has abstained from voting on a resolution at the United Nations (UN) against ASAT tests.

The United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of the resolution for countries not to conduct direct-ascent antisatellite tests that create space debris.

The United States initiated the effort to get countries to stop creating space debris by shooting missiles at their own satellites after Russia’s antisatellite test on November 15, 2021.

US Vice President Kamala Harris, as chair of the White House National Space Council, pledged that the United States would not conduct destructive direct-ascent ASAT tests on April 18, 2022 and called for other countries to join.

The UN General Assembly adopted by draft resolution II, “Destructive direct-ascent anti-satellite missile testing” by a recorded vote of 155 in favour to 9 against (Belarus, Bolivia, Central African Republic, China, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Syria) with 9 abstentions (India, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Pakistan, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Togo, Zimbabwe).

“Back in April, I announced the United States will not conduct destructive direct-ascent anti-satellite missile tests, and I called on other nations to join us. Today, 155 countries voted in favor of a UN resolution, helping establish this as an international norm for space,” US Vice President Kamala Harris said today.

Among its terms, the Assembly called on all States not to conduct such tests and to continue discussions to develop further practical steps and contribute to legally binding instruments on the prevention of an arms race in outer space. (Colombo Gazette)

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