Space Security and Sustainability: Why Is It Essential for Small Island Nations?

23-25 April 2024
Space Security and Sustainability: Why Is It Essential for Small Island Nations?

The rapid increase of space activities, by new and commercial actors, have made possible multiple services upon which humankind relies on every day. Space technology contributes to bridging inequalities between nations and peoples. Sustainability of the space environment greatly contributes to peace and sustainability on Earth.

However, as space becomes more economically and strategically important, tensions between different space actors could lead to conflict. Such tensions have prompted the further development of counterspace capabilities by multiple States. Left unchecked, the increase in space assets and the proliferation of counterspace technologies endangers both the safety and security of outer space. As well, it creates an unstable and unsustainable space environment that could lead to conflict. Such a conflict could have catastrophic consequences for humankind, showcasing the close relationship between space security and sustainability as it relates to space and Earth. In the face of such danger, the international community has sought to establish solutions to ensure space remains a secure, peaceful and sustainable environment.

During the second Space for Island Nations Conference (SINC), the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and Secure World Foundation (SWF) will hold a panel where space security experts and other interested stakeholders will explore the importance of space security for Island Nations, discuss the current state of multilateral discussions on this topic, and strive to identify what concerns specific to Island Nations exist about their continued access to and use of space.

Moreover, in coordination with the Maldives Space Research Organisation (MSRO), UNIDIR and SWF will also sponsor a closed, invitation-only workshop for government and other relevant stakeholders. This workshop aims to encourage the sharing of views on this topic, providing a forum for informal discussion around current challenges to space security and stability, and the role that Island Nations can play in fostering common understanding for space security.


Both the panel and the closed workshop will be part of ⁠the second Space for Island Nations Conference, to be held in the Maldives on 23-25 April 2024. Participants will have the chance to ask questions and interact with the panellists. The closed workshop will also be held in-person.


The organizers would encourage participation from regional representatives and experts specialized or interested in issues pertaining to space security. 


After the event, UNIDIR will publish and promote a short factual report summarizing the highlights of the panel. Moreover, a lengthier report which will include the highlights of the closed workshop will also be produced and shared with the workshop participants.