KEY FINDINGS OF UNIDIR 2019 SPACE SECURITY CONFERENCE PUBLISHED
Report highlights need for governments to agree on a “baseline” set of norms for activities in space.
GENEVA, 9 AUGUST 2019 — A UNIDIR Report published today suggests that UN Member States should focus on solvable space security issues, rather than trying to find a one-size-fits-all solution. By so doing, Member States might strengthen stability and transparency in space in incremental but substantive amounts.
The 2019 Space Security Conference, entitled Supporting Diplomacy: Clearing the Path for Dialogue, took place in Geneva amid growing geopolitical tension in space. Numerous signs emerged over the last year that suggest the potential for conflict in space is gradually increasing.
“The breadth of challenges is too broad to address in one agreement or treaty,” says Daniel Porras, Space Security Fellow at UNIDIR. “Each threat has its own technical and political complexities, so perhaps rather than trying to solve all the problems at once, we can work on specific issues where we have widespread agreement first.”
The Report describes the proceedings and presents key findings of the recent Space Security Conference. The meeting is an annual gathering of international experts from government, industry and academia. The discussions focus on space security challenges—such as the intentional destruction of space objects—and what steps might be taken to resolve these.
In addition to more focused discussions, the Report also suggests that one important task before the international community is to agree on a “baseline” set of norms for activities in space. This can provide greater certainty for peaceful actors and make it easier to spot threatening activities. “By setting rules of the road for peaceful actors, you can focus more on monitoring the few outliers,” said Porras. “This can help reduce some of the suspicions and fears that surround new space technologies.”
The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) is an autonomous institution within the United Nations that conducts independent research on disarmament and related problems, particularly international security issues. UNIDIR supports Member States, the United Nations and policy and research communities in advancing ideas and actions that contribute to a more sustainable and peaceful world. For more information about UNIDIR, visit: www.unidir.org. Follow UNIDIR on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Aaron J. Buckley Daniel Porras
Strategic Communications Officer Space Security Fellow
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