Updated 3:28 Moscow Time
DUSHANBE, September 12 (RIA Novosti) – Leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states said in a joint declaration Friday they opposed an arms race in space.
"The member states favor safe space activities and its peaceful use, and oppose an arms race in space and turning it into an area of armed hostilities," the declaration reads.
The leaders also called upon countries to start negotiations on an international treaty banning the deployment of weapons in space and other measures to boost transparency and trust.
SCO is a Eurasian political, economic and military organization founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan are currently observer members.
The prevention of an arms race in outer space is a critical issue on the UN disarmament and arms control agenda.
In June, Russia and China jointly submitted to a UN-sponsored disarmament conference an updated draft treaty on banning the deployment of weapons in outer space. The draft supplemented, revised and refined some clauses of the draft Russia and China presented back in 2008. The United States opposed the measure. In his speech at a plenary session of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva earlier this week, Robert Wood, the US representative to the organization, said that the draft "remains fundamentally flawed."