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Global Space Governance
and the role of
Space Middle Powers
Dr Natália Archinard
Manfred Lachs International Conference on Conflicts in
Space and the Rule of Law, Montreal, 27-28 May 2016
Disclaimer: the views expressed are the personal views of the speaker and
do not engage, in any way or manner, her employer or her government.
Threats to outer space activities
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Use of force against space objects or systems
Radio frequency interferences
Cyber attacks
Space debris
Space weather
There are more actors and new challenges.
Ongoing international initiatives
PPWT: preventing the placement of weapons
• Draft legally binding treaty
• 1st draft in 2008 at CD by China and Russia
ICOC: international code of conduct in space
• non-legally binding political instrument
• 1st draft in 2012 to UN MS, by EU (+USA)
LTSSA: long-term sustainability of space activities
• non-legally binding, voluntary guidelines
• bottom-up process at UNCOPUOS since 2010
GGE report A/68/189
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Group of 15 Governmental Experts, 2012-13
Established by UNGA Res 65/68 (2010)
Mandate: study TCBMs for outer space
Consensual report welcomed by UNGA (2013)
Recommendations for civil and military TCBMs
Contains criteria for outer space TCBMs
Deferred to UNCOPUOS, CD and UNDC
-> Joint meeting of UNGA 1st & 4th Committees
Difficulties and open questions
• Antagonistic views as to where the priorities
are: space weapons or space debris
• Non space-related international tensions
• Questions related to self-defence
• Definitions (space weapon, armed attack, etc.)
• Verification of compliance
Space Middle Powers (*)
A Middle Power satisfying:
Reliance on space with limited autonomy
High level of economic resources
Global diplomatic presence (not only space)
and respected opinion on international stage.
They have specific reliance, hence incentive,
and the potential to have a strong impact in
international discussions on space security.
(*) See ”The Realities of Middle Power Space Reliance”, by D. Golston with B. BaseleyWalker, UN Institute for Disarmament Research UNIDIR, with the support of Switzerland
Which way forward ?
It seems that there is a need for:
• New impulsions by new leaders
• Open, transparent and inclusive processes
• Universal and representative forums
• Mixed expertise (space and arms control).
Could space middle powers help progress by
taking the lead, individually or as a group?
What about establishing an open-ended
working group under UNGA mandate (as
suggested by South Africa in July 2015 in NY)?
Thank you for your kind attention!
[email protected]