Country Research – France FRANCE AND DISARMAMENT Facts : France was the first state to have signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). France was the first nation to have shut down and dismantle its facilities for production of fissile materials. France has dismantled its ground to ground nuclear missiles. In 2008 France reduced the number of its nuclear weapons by one third. After this reduction, the total French arsenal will comprise fewer than 300 nuclear warheads, i. e. half of the maximum number of warheads that France had during the Cold War.
During France’s presidency of the European Union in 2008, it looked to draw up the first disarmament initiatives in Europe. France proposes : ? The signing of the CTBT by all the nations and dismantling of nuclear testing facilities in a transparent way. ? The opening of a treaty to ban the use of fissile materials in the production of nuclear weapons. ? The opening of a treaty to ban ground to ground missiles. ? The accession to and implementation of The Hague Code of Conduct by all States. ? Mobilization in all other areas of disarmament.
FRANCE AND PREVENTION OF ARMS RACE IN OUTER SPACE Facts : ? On 29 October 1998, the French delegate to Conference of Disarmament was quoted saying, “At the outset of the session of the Conference on Disarmament in January 1998, I pointed out that my country attributed special importance to the fact that the Geneva forum deals with three subjects: the prohibition of the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, the banning of anti-personnel landmines and the prevention of an arms race in outer space. ” Very recently I have been able to note the renewed interest of many delegations in this subject, and recent developments in the international situation make us want to think about ways to avoid an aggressive — I repeat, aggressive — militarization of space, which could be a source of danger to the international community and the geostrategic balance. ” “That is why my delegation wishes to express its positive commitment to this issue of outer space by voting in favour of the present draft resolution rather than abstaining, as we did in the voting on the draft resolution submitted in 1997 by Sri Lanka, which was adopted as resolution 52/37” In 2008, under the presidential rule of France, all the member states of the EU voted for the draft resolution “ Prevention of Arms Race In Outer Space” . The French representative to the UN said that the EU was working on a code of conduct on space activities to promote the security of space activities. ? France has voted in favour of every resolution that has been passed regarding PAROS. ? In 2013, France’s space agency, CNES, plans to test a satellite-launching rocket that attaches to the Rafale jet.
These jets can fly from aircraft carriers, which would allow the naval fleet to launch their own satellites if needed. This has caused the USA and other nations to note that this rocket launcher could be used to destroy satellites as well as launch them. Mr. Rubin, a former head of Israel’s Arrow missile programme reckons that the project gives France an edge in developing anti-satellite missiles, however, while avoiding the international criticism that would accompany an explicit anti-satellite programme.
France has denied such intentions by expressing concern over the fact that blowing up a satellite could litter orbits for decades with shrapnel that endangers all spacecraft. France’s stand on PAROS : Based on the above facts it can be evaluated that France has virtually no intentions to weaponise outer space. It strongly believes in the prevention of an arms in outer space and has tried to work towards achieving that. FRANCE’S ALLIES USA : In 2008, USA launched a missile to destroy a malfunctioning weather satellite. This was believed to be USA’s secret testing of ASAT weapons.
This strike came a year after China’s use of missiles to destroy a Chinese weather satellite. On February 2011, the unmanned X-37B3 which resembles a miniature space shuttle was blasted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The spacecraft draws solar power for energy using unfolding panels. However, because of its clandestine nature, some industry analysts have theorized it could be a precursor to an orbiting weapon, capable of dropping bombs or disabling foreign satellites as it circles the globe. The space plane was built in tight secrecy by Boeing Co. ’s Space and Intelligence Systems unit in Huntington Beach.
This activity highly raises a concern on both The Republic of China and the Russian Federation. The USA also voted against the Outer Space Treaty and has said that it would use the space in the best interests of its people. (mainly in pursuit of national security and other goals) Britain: Britain has supported the Outer Space Treaty and other resolutions by the COPUOS. Although in 2006, Britain seemed hesitant when John Duncan said in his statement “discussion on PAROS is at an early stage and there are many unanswered questions, not least on defining the terms of the debate. Canada: Canada has always supported the idea of PAROS. It was one of the first nations to have signed the Outer Space Treaty and it also endorsed the EU’s code of conduct on Outer Space Activities. On March 16, 2004, the Canadian representative made the following statement, “Canadian thinking on outer space has evolved. We remain firmly opposed to the deployment of weapons in space. Yet we also recognize the need to ensure the safety of satellites vital to our security and prosperity.
We have therefore developed a new comprehensive approach seeking to integrate space security issues with the international community’s need for secure and equitable access to space for peaceful purposes. On March 25th and 26th, this approach will be introduced at a seminar entitled “Safeguarding Space for All”, sponsored by the UN Institute for Disarmament Research as well as key NGOs and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs. ” This shows that Canada has understood the true potential of outer space and chooses to use it for peaceful purposes. Bibliography ttp://www. cbc. ca/news/world/story/2007/01/18/missile-test. html http://www. economist. com/node/17647639 http://www. telegraph. co. uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8299491/WikiLeaks-US-vs-China-in-battle-of-the-anti-satellite-space-weapons. html http://www. diplomatie. gouv. fr/en/france-priorities_1/disarmament-arms-control_7359/arms-control-and-arms-trade_1109/implementation-of-disarmament-commitments_7223/france-and-nuclear-disarmament_72 http://www. ploughshares. ca/libraries/monitor/mons06c. pdf http://www. franceonu. org/spip. php? article4985