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Responsible behaviours in space, national submissions to the UN

Responsible behaviours in space, national submissions to the UN
Date
Tuesday 23 - Thursday 25 February, 2021
Event no.
WP1875V

Space is becoming increasingly congested and competed over, and the risk of accidents, misunderstandings and miscalculations between nations is escalating. As a process of international consultation and dialogue, between January and July 2020, Wilton Park hosted a series of events: “Operating in space: current multilateral policy issues and challenges”. At these events international participants highlighted that while it may not satisfy an ultimate need for rules governing actions, responsible space behaviour provides a foundation for cooperation, capacity building and transparency.

On 12 October 2020, the UK proposed a UNGA First Committee resolution on Reducing Space Threats through Norms, Rules and Principles of Responsible Behaviours aiming to broker an international consensus on responsible behaviour in space. The UN General Assembly adopted the resolution on 7 December 2020 with overwhelming international support. The resolution:

5. Encourages Member States to: study existing and potential threats and security risks to space systems, including those arising from actions, activities or systems in outer space or on Earth; characterise what actions and activities could be considered as responsible, irresponsible or threatening and their potential impact on international security; and share their ideas for the further development and implementation of norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviours and the reduction of the risks of misunderstanding and miscalculations with respect to outer space;

6. Requests the Secretary-General, within existing resources, to seek the views of Member States on the issues referred to in the foregoing paragraph; and to submit a substantive report, with an annex containing these views, to the General Assembly at its seventy-sixth session, for further discussion by Member States.

The UN Secretary General has commissioned countries to submit their views by 3 May for inclusion in a report to the UN General Assembly in summer 2021. In preparation for these submissions,

50 participants from 27 states took part in these open discussions on responsible space behaviours.

On 12 October 2020, the UK proposed a UNGA First Committee resolution on Reducing Space Threats through Norms, Rules and Principles of Responsible Behaviours aiming to broker an international consensus on responsible behaviour in space. The UN General Assembly adopted the resolution on 7 December 2020 with overwhelming international support. The resolution:

5. Encourages Member States to: study existing and potential threats and security risks to space systems, including those arising from actions, activities or systems in outer space or on Earth; characterise what actions and activities could be considered as responsible, irresponsible or threatening and their potential impact on international security; and share their ideas for the further development and implementation of norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviours and the reduction of the risks of misunderstanding and miscalculations with respect to outer space;

6. Requests the Secretary-General, within existing resources, to seek the views of Member States on the issues referred to in the foregoing paragraph; and to submit a substantive report, with an annex containing these views, to the General Assembly at its seventy-sixth session, for further discussion by Member States.

The UN Secretary General has commissioned countries to submit their views by 3 May for inclusion in a report to the UN General Assembly in summer 2021. In preparation for these submissions,

50 participants from 27 states took part in these open discussions on responsible space behaviours.

Programmes

  • Programme
    Tuesday 23 – Thursday 25 February 2021 | WP1875V
  • Programme
    Tuesday 9 – Thursday 11 March 2021 | WP1876V

Report

WP1875V and WP1876V Report

Wilton Park reference numbers: WP1875V and WP1876V

Contacts

Programme Director: Rich Roberts

Biography and other events

Project Manager: Sarah-Jane Holtam