I am pleased to send greetings to the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Hague Code of Conduct to Prevent the Proliferation of Ballistic Missiles.
With their ability to carry weapons of mass destruction, ballistic missiles destabilize regional and international relations and jeopardize progress on nuclear disarmament. The world still lacks a universally accepted norm or instrument specifically governing the development, testing, production, acquisition, transfer, deployment or use of such missiles. The Code therefore fills a critical void by enhancing transparency and building confidence among States, and by contributing to the peaceful use of outer space. In particular, the Code provides for the exchange of pre-launch notifications and annual declarations on space and ballistic missile policies, measures that can supplement related bilateral and regional efforts.
I encourage your efforts to further develop the Code to take into account other types of missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, such as cruise missiles. You are carrying out commendable outreach activities to promote the Code, improve its implementation and increase participation. I also welcome the joint ministerial statement to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Code. I strongly support efforts to explore how to deepen the relationship between the Code and the United Nations.
The United Nations stands ready to work with subscribing States and all interested parties to further elaborate the Code and achieve its universality.
I wish you a successful commemoration.