UN Institute for Disarmament Research: Space Security Workshop

This meeting was brought about to discuss the current updates on the future of space, with a specific focus on the safety, security, and commercial actors in space. The speakers shared their insight on the socio-economic impact of space on the future, with the discussion eventually shifting towards the importance of international policy regarding space.

It was emphasized that international rules require a consensus among space-faring nations, that are both applicable to public and private entities, specifically mindful of new start-ups. Preventing weaponization and the arms race, and mitigating risks from other human activities is deemed as essential in any international discussion.

Moreover, regarding any current and future actions in space, everyone should be considered a stakeholder. Both Low Earth and Geosynchronous (370 km and 36,000 km above the earth, respectively) orbiting satellites play a vital role in our world. They are responsible for communications, data collection, as well as weather, climate, and environmental sensors. Today, nearly 40% of the SDG targets (65 out of 169) are directly supported by space activity. 

Moving forward, space-actors must also consider the mass accumulation of space debris.

While it requires more energy and money to bring down a satellite, the space environment is already at that critical point where the Low Earth Orbit will be inaccessible to satellites in its orbit within the next 100 years. Ultimately, there needs to be an increase in international dialogue among government and private bodies in order to ensure the security and safety of space, with a focus on demilitarization and non-polluting activity.

Meeting​: UNIDIR Space Security Workshop: A Primer for Delegations

Date/Location​: Wednesday, January 30th, 2019; 10:00 to 12:00; Conference Room 11, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY

Speakers​:

  • Mr. Kazuto Suzuki, Professor of Public Policy at Hokkaido University
  • Ms. Laura Grego, Senior Scientist for the Global Security Program

Written By: WIT Representative Michael Murphy

 

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