The space environment—and space technologies—have evolved enormously since the adoption of the Outer Space Treaty in 1967, and this rate of development shows no sign of slowing. As technologies continue to advance, our dependence on space assets will only increase. This reliance generates vulnerabilities and there is growing awareness that space security is a critical issue for all states—not just the established space powers. For many, the Outer Space Treaty and subsequent agreements, indeed international law as a whole, are no longer sufficient to address the potential threats to space security of today and tomorrow. This issue of Disarmament Forum explores the possible components of a strengthened space security regime and potential ways forward for the international community. Contributors discuss a range of options, from efforts already being undertaken within the private sector to ensure safe satellite manoeuvres to the new draft European Code of Conduct on Outer Space Activities. There are suggestions on approaches states could be taking to establish a more secure space environment and on possible steps toward a treaty on space security.

Citation: Kerstin Vignard (ed.) (2009). "Disarmament Forum: A Safer Space Environment?", UNIDIR, Geneva.

Disponible aussi en français.


  • Editor’s note, Kerstin Vignard
  • Safer Space Environment? Promising confidence- and security-building measures for space security, Philip J. BAINES and Adam CÔTé
  • Steps to strategic security and stability in space: a view from the United States, Bruce W. MacDONALD
  • Commercial efforts to manage the space environment, Richard DalBello
  • Space security and the European Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities, Wolfgang Rathgeber, Nina-Louisa Remuss and Kai-Uwe Schrogl
  • Open Forum The missile regime: verification, test bans and free zones, Sameh Aboul-Enein and Bharath Gopalaswamy
  • UNIDIR focus