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Agenda- 'Amendment of International Space Law with special reference to Outer Space Treaty (OST).'

Please note that all information given in this Background Guide is solely for the Research purposes of the delegates. No citing of the information from the Background Guide will be permitted. No authentication from the inputs of the Background Guides is advocated.

6. Letter From the Executive Board Introduction to the Agenda Historical Background Recent Developments Role of the Major Actors Points to be addressed in a Resolution Bibliography Links for Further Research . 4. 7. 8. 2.CONTENTS: 1. 5. 3.

and we assure you of an extremely enriching learning experience through this MUN. we also expect you to respect at all times. Our email IDs are listed below and feel free to contact us in case of any help required! The last date for submitting your Position Paper is 28th July! Position Papers are mandatory and have to be sent to uncopuosbvcmun2013@gmail. please do take note that the background guide only contains certain basic information which may form the basis for the debate and your research as well.LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE BOARD Hello Delegates! We warmly welcome you to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space at none other than BVC MUN 2013! It is our pleasure to be presiding over such a dynamic and intriguing committee this August. However. as this will be forming the basis of your entire research for the three day conference. This guide will be your starting point! What we would expect from delegates is not pure knowledge. While that is important. Moreover. we also want to see how delegates can respect disparities and differences of opinion and work around these while extending their own foreign policy so that it encompasses more of the others without compromising their own stand. only then will you truly be able to represent your country in the best possible way. After ( (parthstein@gmail.sasha@gmail. All the delegates should be prepared well in order to make the council’s direction and debate productive. research and facts. The Guide chronologically touches upon all the different aspects that are relevant and will lead to fruitful debate in the See you in August! Devansh Sharma Sasha Bhatnagar Parth Gargava Vice Chairperson Chairperson Vice Chairperson (sharma. The following pages intend to guide you with the nuances of the agenda as well as the Council. other delegates as well as your executive board members as respect and humility are values essential to a good delegate. We will be more than happy to see you go beyond the background guide and explore deeper aspects of the topic. We wish you all the very best for your research and hope you are able to delve into the important aspects of the agenda with immense clarity. thereby reaching a unanimously acceptable practical solution. Make sure you go through the guide in as much detail as you can. You are the representative of your allotted country/organisation and it is our hope that you put in wholehearted efforts to research and comprehensively grasp all important facets of the diverse .devansh94@gmail.

the Office conducts training courses. and to study legal problems arising from the exploration of outer space. Austria. Vienna. performs functions of the Secretariat of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its Scientific and Technical and Legal Subcommittees. to encourage continued research and the dissemination of information on outer space matters. satellite meteorology. Detailed information on the work of the Committee and the Subcommittees are contained in their annual reports. The Committee and its two Subcommittees meet annually to consider questions put before them by the General Assembly. Vienna International Center. The Office forms part of the United Nations Office at Vienna and serves as the Secretariat for the General Assembly's only committee dealing exclusively with those issues: the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Under the Programme. . communications. The Committee and the Subcommittees. basic space science and satellite navigation. working on the basis of consensus. make recommendations to the General Assembly. seminars and other activities in subject areas such as remote sensing. The Office implements the decisions of the General Assembly and of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. on behalf of the United Nations SecretaryGeneral. particularly developing countries. the Register of Objects Launched into Outer Space. search and rescue. implements the United Nations Programme on Space Applications. The Office for Outer Space Affairs implements the United Nations Programme on Space Applications (PSA) and works to improve the use of space science and technology for the economic and social development of all countries. maintains coordination and cooperation with space agencies and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations involved in space-related activities. reports submitted to them and issues raised by the Member States. The fifty-sixth session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space was held from 12-21 June 2013 at the United Nation Office at Vienna. The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space was set up by the General Assembly in 1959 (resolution 1472 (XIV)) to review the scope of international cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space. workshops. The Committee has two subcommittees: the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee. The Office maintains.COMMITTEE STRUCTURE AND MANDATE The Office for Outer Space Affairs is the United Nations’ office responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. coordinates the inter-agency cooperation within the United Nations on the use of space technology. to devise programs in this field to be undertaken under United Nations auspices.

States Parties are to return objects launched into outer space or their component parts to the launching authority if they land on their territory. 90 ratifications. The launching state is absolutely liable for damage caused on Earth's surface or to aircraft in flight. the launching state is liable only if the damage is due to its fault or the fault of persons for whom it is responsible. it is much more debated and controversial than domestic space law because it is very difficult to come to a consensus when it comes to laws for international space area. or to other space objects. 3 acceptances of rights and obligations as of January 1. and 1 acceptance of rights and obligations as of January 1. Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects (the "Liability Convention") Entered into force 1 September 1972. Austria. and to return the astronauts to the launching authority. Return of Astronauts. • • States Parties are to render humanitarian assistance to astronauts in distress or who have made an emergency or unintended landing on their territory. 2008 • • Procedures are created for presenting and resolving claims for damages caused by space objects on the Earth. Five international treaties and five "declarations and legal principles" were developed through the United Nations. Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts. . in space).. and Return of Objects Launched into Space (the "Astronaut Rescue and Return Agreement") Entered into force 3 December 1968. However.INTRODUCTION • INTERNATIONAL SPACE LAW International Space Law is a sub study of Space Law which includes both domestic and international space law. The most important of these is the Outer Space Treaty which has been covered separately in a section below.g. to aircraft. 86 ratification. 2. which maintains an Office of Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) in Vienna. if the damage is caused elsewhere (e. 24 signatures. 24 signatures. 2008. The Synopsis on the four other major treaties on International Space Law is as follows: 1.

13 ratifications and 4 signatures as of January 1. whereby the interests and needs of the developing countries. All space vehicles. 51 ratifications. shall be open to other States Parties so all States Parties may assure themselves that activities of others are in conformance with this agreement. and due regard shall be paid to the interests of present and future generations and to the need to promote higher standards of living and conditions of economic and social progress and development in accordance with the U. States Parties shall undertake to establish an international regime to govern the exploitation of the Moon's natural resources as such exploitation is about to become feasible. when an object no longer is in orbit. 4 signatures. national organization or non-governmental entity or of any natural person. • • • • • Exploration and use of the Moon shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries. The regime's purposes include the orderly and safe development of the Moon's natural resources. the expansion of opportunities to use those resources. neither the surface nor the subsurface nor any part thereof shall become property of any State. etc. States Parties must report certain information about the launch and payload to the United Nations as soon as practicable. facilities. Activities of non-governmental entities must take place only under the authority and continuing supervision of the appropriate State Party. equipment. and 2 acceptances of rights and obligations as of January 1. shall be given special consideration. as well as the efforts of those countries which have contributed either directly or indirectly to the exploration of the Moon. • • States Parties are to maintain a national register of objects launched into space. It is important for us to study them in a detailed manner in order to understand the problems as well as room for amendments. charter. and notify the U. States Parties bear international responsibility for national activities on the Moon. international intergovernmental or non-governmental organization. and an equitable sharing by all States Parties in the benefits derived from those resources. These treaties along with the Outer Space Treaty form the very basis of international law as of today.3. Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (the "Moon Agreement") Entered into force 11 July 1984. Procedures are established for resolving differences. 4. The Moon and its natural resources are the common heritage of mankind. .N. Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space (the "Registration Convention") Entered into force 15 September 1976. 2008.N. the rational management of those resources. 2008. whether by governmental or non-governmental entities.

• THE OUTER SPACE TREATY The Outer Space Treaty. while another 27 have signed the treaty but have not completed ratification. 102 countries are states parties to the treaty. the International Geophysical Year (IGY) (1957-1958). the United Kingdom. States shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects. and the Soviet Union on 27 January 1967. which had been adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 1962 (XVIII) in 1963. by means of use or occupation. . but added a few new provisions. Unlike that instrument. from the very beginning. The Outer Space Treaty was considered by the Legal Subcommittee in 1966 and agreement was reached in the General Assembly in the same year (resolution 2222 (XXI). is a treaty that forms the basis of international space law. and entered into force on 23 June 1961). the efforts for an international regulation of space activities were conducted. including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies. The treaty was opened for signature in the United States. and the rapid development of rocket technology during that period. the Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes. States shall be responsible for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities. The Treaty was opened for signature by the three depository Governments (the Russian Federation. States shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner. or by any other means. As of May 2013. The Treaty was largely based on the Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space. outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty. within the framework of the United Nations. and it entered into force in October 1967. and States shall avoid harmful contamination of space and celestial bodies. including the following principles: • • • • • • • • • the exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind. Example for the regulation of space activities was provided by the Antarctic Treaty (concluded by 12 States in Washington. which laid down the principles of the legal regime of scientific exploration of Antarctica on the basis of experience gained during the International Geophysical Year. The creation of a special regime for outer space and celestial bodies was necessitated by the commencement of space activities with the launch of the first artificial satellites of the Earth under an international scientific programme. formally the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space. the United Kingdom and the United States of America) in January 1967. on 1 December 1959. outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States. and entered into force on 10 October 1967. The Outer Space Treaty provides the basic framework on international space law. astronauts shall be regarded as the envoys of mankind.

which could be armed with WMD warheads. The treaty repeatedly emphasizes that space is to be used for peaceful purposes. The United States asserts that such an accord would be too difficult to verify and that no additional outer space treaties are needed because there is currently no arms race in outer space. but it is commonly understood to include nuclear. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty bans the stationing of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in outer space. The term "weapons of mass destruction" is not defined. to consider specific proposals concerning the development of international cooperation. however. while another 26 have signed it but have not yet completed ratification.The Organization established for that task a special Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). in outer space. does not prohibit the launching of ballistic missiles. The treaty. missile defense plans and space policy. leading some analysts to conclude that the treaty could broadly be interpreted as prohibiting all types of weapons systems. In February 2008. and details legally binding rules governing the peaceful exploration and use of space. In resolution 1721 (XVI) of 20 December 1961. which has failed for several years to achieve the necessary consensus to start negotiations on an outer space treaty. applies to outer space and celestial bodies. The treaty forbids countries from deploying "nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction" in outer space. many countries support negotiation of additional outer space agreements. the Declaration could not establish binding norms of international law. chemical. the General Assembly adopted by consensus a wide programme for such multilateral cooperation. Ninety-nine countries are states-parties to the treaty. As a General Assembly resolution. and biological weapons. namely that international law. as a permanent body. prohibits military activities on celestial bodies. Nevertheless. and that outer space and celestial bodies are free for exploration and use by all States in conformity with international law and are not subject to national appropriation. not just WMD. . in 1959. already during the period of its adoption. through space. The same resolution commended two fundamental principles to States for their guidance in space activities. Fuelled by concerns about U. one Legal.S. first as an ad hoc committee in 1958 and. of space exploration for peaceful purposes. and the other Scientific and Technical. in their respective fields. thus creating starting points for a further regulation of space projects by space law. For instance. The COPUOS has become the focal point for all space-related cooperative programmes furthered by the United Nations and its Member States. it was considered to be the basis for a future legally binding treaty. It created two subcommittees. the two countries submitted a draft treaty text to the conference. It also provided initial rules for handling some already known problems of the space activities undertaken at that time. including the Charter of the United Nations. The 1963 Declaration included a set of general principles which characterized the legal status of outer space and celestial bodies and outlined the scope of legality for activities of States in the space environment. China and Russia are urging the 65member UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva to negotiate a treaty to prevent an arms race in outer space.

the agreement is a tribute to the ability of diplomats to draft international law that is simultaneously effective but is claimed to be incompetent by some. Born out of anxiety about the Cold War and excitement about the Space Age. In what was then stirring. an international commons rather akin to the “international waters” of the open oceans on Earth. The first flaw is that it created an “anti-commons. As such. There are two most criticised flaws in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. Had the policy purpose of the treaty been wilderness preservation in outer space then today it would be declared a smashing success. all of outer space was declared the “Common Home of Mankind” to be explored and exploited by all countries and for the benefit of all humanity. the sort of territory that is unclaimed yet claimable by states as sovereign territory. outer space remains a wilderness that benefits no one except astronomers and stargazing lovers. and today preposterous. Successful in preventing states from claiming sovereign territory in outer space the treaty also hobbled space exploration and development. When the 1967 Outer Space Treaty eliminated the possibility that states could claim territory on the final frontier it also extinguished an important motivation for states and private firms to engage in exploration and development. Establish military bases or installations.” Less appreciated is that establishing a commons can also establish an “anti-commons. human activity in outer space is confined to low Earth orbit and unmanned space exploration of the solar system proceeds at a leisurely pace. Where the commons is easy to exploit the likely result is the degradation of its renewable resources.” Eliminating the possibility of reaping rewards from a desired activity discourages that desired activity." or conduct military exercises on the moon and other celestial bodies. States-parties commit not to: • • • Place in orbit around the Earth or other celestial bodies any nuclear weapons or objects carrying WMD.The treaty's key arms control provisions are in Article IV. language of the agreement.” The general problem is that establishing a commons runs the risk of creating perverse incentives. the 1967 Outer Space Treaty is believed to be an abysmal failure. Their negotiations resulted in a near-quarantine of humans on Earth and low Earth orbit and only anemic efforts to explore our solar system via unmanned space programs. Beyond low Earth orbit. test "any type of weapons. . That much has been understood by public policymakers at least since publication of Garret Hardin‘s influential essay “The Tragedy of the Commons. rather than terra nullius. The Space Age has sputtered to a crawl and it is believed that the 1967 Outer Space Treaty deserves a large measure of the blame. Install WMD on celestial bodies or station WMD in outer space in any other manner. The core legal principle of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty declared that everywhere beyond the atmosphere to be res communis. Today. While there are other reasons for the effective closing of the space frontier beyond low Earth orbit with the last Apollo Missions to the Moon—the relaxation of Cold War tensions in the 1970s gave the superpowers less reason to compete and their other budget priorities competed with space programs—the diplomats and politicians who foisted the treaty onto an unwitting humanity in 1967 deserve much of the credit. Yet the ostensible policy purpose of the agreement was to encourage space exploration and development in a manner that benefits humanity as a whole.

. or Chinese withdrawal would reduce the treaty to irrelevance. Although this 15 billion kilometer distance seems enormous. The recent emergence of competition between the United States and China to return to the Moon and establish permanent bases will compel both interest in establishing national control over our satellite’s better territories and their resources. That 100 AU is a mere . from the outer boundary of the Kuiper Belt through the Sun to the opposite outer boundary of the Kuiper Belt. The second flaw in the treaty is that its assertion of subject matter authority is extremely large. That idea that states are no longer interested in claiming new territory is belied by the Russian Federation’s recent claim under the Convention on the Laws of the Sea to the 1. the 1967 Outer Space Treaty has an easy to operate escape hatch: signatory states are free to withdraw from the agreement within one year of giving notice. is a distance of 100 AU (Astronomical Units). Although only a small minority of the states that signed the treaty back in 1967 can even today launch satellites into orbit or send robotic probes to any celestial body. One need to not applaud each and every property development project to recognize the economic value of property development to society. indulgent or otherwise.0016 of a light-year. participation by the Chinese is clearly unwelcome. and the same may be said of the efforts of states in claiming and governing new territories. Russian. Although NASA has encouraged participation by the other major national space programs in its projected Moon base. Any resumption of human exploration on celestial objects is liable to expose both territorial ambition and the flaws of the treaty.Depriving states of the right to claim sovereign national territory on solid celestial bodies has discouraged more energetic space exploration and development in the same manner that depriving property developers of the right to purchase real property would discourage their investment. and although only three of the states that signed the treaty can today launch humans into orbit. American. Fortunately. Comparison of the relative astronomical distances drives home this point. Given the primitive nature of space technology available to humanity then and now.2 million square kilometers of the Lomonosov Ridge in the Arctic. an agreement covering only what was within the solar system would have been sufficient. The radial distance from the “edge” of our solar system. or 100 times the distance from the Sun to the Earth. The most recent estimate of the radial distance from one edge of the universe to the other is 180 billion light-years. their diplomatic representatives nonetheless felt competent in collectively asserting legal authority and ownership over everything in the universe beyond the Earth. it is miniscule in cosmic terms. Planting rival Moon bases might be sufficient to cause one of the other of the powers to renounce (denounce) the agreement and prompt resurgence of energetic human space exploration and perhaps development. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty may expire as controlling international law well before humanity ever encounters any extraterrestrials.

In short. there are other treaties. The response was timely and universal.There are also voluntary regimes such as the 1987 Missile Technology Control Regime. the decision-making arenas became global and were not entirely restricted to traditional state-to state negotiations. over time. and consequently. by analogy. memorandum of understandings relating to implementing specific programs. Now. and regional treaties are the United Nations' Principles relating to more specific concerns such as the Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Space and the Principles Relevant to the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space. . global. Less global treaties are the regional conventions setting up different space agencies such as the Convention of the European Space Agency in 1975. Then. much law evolves incrementally by less formal arrangements. Other related instruments include the United Nations Charter. then. can be used to interpret the space treaties. work has begun on a comprehensive Space Traffic Management ("STM") regime as well. In addition. which. Arabsat in 1976. the 1963 Partial Test Ban Treaty. Less formal still are legal agreements related to specific space projects such as the International Space Station ("ISS"). and EUMETSAT in 1983. and the now out of force bilateral AntiBallistic Missile Treaty (part of SALT I). The reason for new treaty law was at first critical-the fear of war and the crucial need for international cooperation and detente during the Cold War. For instance. Additionally. Initially. it developed in a time of revolutionary technological changes. the laws became more discrete and focused. bilateral. Also to be emphasized are the annual UN General Assembly Resolutions on Preventing an Arms Race in Outer Space ("PAROS").HISTORICAL BACKGROUND The Law of Outer Space has been written in bold strokes and then interpreted and decided upon in numerous forums and locals. The five major space treaties are not the only treaties pertaining to the development of space law. as these innovations became more evolutionary. the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea can be used to elaborate on the concepts of freedom of access and use found in the space treaties and on the meaning of the concept "the Common Heritage of Mankind" found in both UNCLOS and the Moon Agreement. and there are also voluntary codes of conduct such as the one on space debris produced by the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee ("IADC")-now also supported by the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space ("COPUOS"). revolutionary times challenged mankind to produce revolutionary advances in the law. we live in quieter times. with most worrying being due to the threat of an arms race in space (which may or may not require new treaty law depending on one's vantage point). and case law which will fill out the lacunae of possible interpretations involving such issues as liability and intellectual property rights. Beyond multilateral. Relating to Telecom law. The best example of a framework agreement is the 2007 one on Global Exploration Strategy between the space agencies of thirteen countries and the European Space Agency. the Convention of the International Telecommunications Union. we should also note the Principles Governing the Use by States of Artificial Earth Satellites for International Direct Television Broadcasting.

the linkage. the Soviet Unions position changed. On June 16. were adequate for detecting launchings and devices in orbit.N. and the use of military equipment and personnel in space exploration -. foreign bases at which short-range and medium-range missiles were stationed were also eliminated. draft dealt only with celestial bodies. and by September agreement had been reached in discussions at Geneva on most Treaty provisions.S. installing them on celestial bodies or stationing them in outer space. reporting on space activities. . even before the launching of Sputnik in October. the United States in 1965 and 1966 pressed for a Treaty that would give further substance to the U. the capabilities of its space-tracking systems. The General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution on October 17. Seeking to sustain the momentum for arms control agreements. The Soviet Union. The development of an inspection system for outer space was part of a Western proposal for partial disarmament put forward in August 1957. The Soviet Union.S. The United States supported the resolution. they held. 1960. Ambassador Stevenson stated that the United States had no intention of orbiting weapons of mass destruction. Addressing the General Assembly on September 22. Differences on the few remaining issues -. 1966.However the most important breakthrough in the history of International Space Law has been the evolution and formation of the Outer Space Treaty. In early 1957. Soviet plans for general and complete disarmament between 1960 and 1962 included provisions for ensuring the peaceful use of outer space. After the signing of the Limited Test Ban Treaty. 1963. President Eisenhower proposed that the principles of the Antarctic Treaty be applied to outer space and celestial bodies. The Western powers declined to accept the Soviet approach. The U. however. which was in the midst of testing its first ICBM and was about to orbit its first Earth satellite. however. developments in rocketry led the United States to propose international verification of the testing of space objects. resolution. Foreign Minister Gromyko told the General Assembly that the Soviet Union wished to conclude an agreement banning the orbiting of objects carrying nuclear weapons. welcoming the Soviet and U. Their successive plans for general and complete disarmament included provisions to ban the orbiting and stationing in outer space of weapons of mass destruction. both the United States and the Soviet Union submitted draft treaties. 1963. the Soviet draft covered the whole outer space environment. It ceased to link an agreement on outer space with the question of foreign bases. would upset the military balance and weaken the security of the West. it was estimated. would not separate outer space from other disarmament issues. did not accept these proposals. statements and calling upon all states to refrain from introducing weapons of mass destruction into outer space.chiefly involving access to facilities on celestial bodies. despite the absence of any provisions for verification.were satisfactorily resolved in private consultations during the General Assembly session by December. Between 1959 and 1962 the Western powers made a series of proposals to bar the use of outer space for military purposes. nor would it agree to restrict outer space to peaceful uses unless U. On September 19. The United States accepted the Soviet position on the scope of the Treaty.S.

or fortifications. which was launched in 1957. It was established in the United Nations through its Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its Legal Subcommittee. the United States of America and the then Soviet Union. This article restricts activities in two ways: First. there are important new developments that may change also the legal order for outer space activities. In the following. satellites have become important in their own right. At least. Since 1957. 1967. other international space agreements and also national laws. The present system of space law now comprises the UN Space Treaties and Principles. navigational equipment. which began with the US development and use of nuclear weapons in 1945. it contains an undertaking not to place in orbit around the Earth. At the time. installation. an international legal basis for space activities was built up. or conducting military manoeuvres. nuclear or any other weapons of mass destruction. the US followed with the Explorer satellite. testing weapons of any kind. the attempt will be made to briefly sketch out the changing parameters of the use of outer space and then to come up with a description of the present and perhaps the challenges of the future legal order. It was opened for signature at Washington. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS During the last five decades. and televisions to telescopes. and the Treaty entered into force on October 10. Second . and military surveillance. computers. The tendency towards commercialization as an orientation towards profit-making and even to privatization and a considerably growing number of users of outer space may ask for new answers and may ask for new legal regulation. the United States and the Soviet Union collaborated in jointly planned and manned space enterprises. weather stations. . we can observe a considerable difference to the beginning of the space age when there were only two space powers. and receiving and beaming signals for everything from radios. After the Treaty entered into force. photographing the planet and the universe. The first man-made object to completely orbit the Earth was the Soviet satellite.On the 19th of that month the General Assembly approved by acclamation a resolution commending the Treaty. London. or otherwise station in outer space. which complete international norms by national regulations of activities performed under the jurisdiction of individual States. Sputnik. The substance of the arms control provisions is in Article IV. Since more than two decades. and Moscow on January 27. there were at least 800 satellites in outer space. This took the terrestrial nuclear arms race. which contributed to the progressive development of international law in a special field of outer space. In 1958. cell phones. what was most significant about these launches was that they showed that each country had the capability to fire intercontinental ballistic missiles at the other. On April 25 the Senate gave unanimous consent to its ratification. to a new level. 1967. it limits the use of the moon and other celestial bodies exclusively to peaceful purposes and expressly prohibits their use for establishing military bases. As of 2007. install on the moon or any other celestial body.

Firms like Boeing. In 2006. China. the time of the first lunar landing. In Europe. The private launching enterprise Space X is just one of the proponents of this new era. launched the first private space station. the US. and explorations from the International Space Station (ISS). the establishment of the International Space Station and finally space touristic activities. and the EU have explored Venus. This shall be briefly illustrated by a brief survey of major fields of space applications that is the use of satellites for various purposes.12 and 13 countries have agreed to collaborate to explore Mars. the first commercial input to the launching of commercial satellites ended after the Challenger disaster in 1986 and the Shuttle which will retire in 2011 was used only for governmental missions. Bigelow Aerospace. experiments at. called Genesis I. inter alia for transporting systems for the establishment of the International Space Station in low Earth orbit. but it was also the case for NASA’s Apollo program which limited private participation to the role of contractors manufacturing the necessary hardware. Other countries which today possess launching capability. Since the Sputnik launch. but also one can observe a tendency towards commercialization and even privatization. Japan.Since 1969. The space station is composed of labs built by the North American Space Agency (NASA). This was clear with the Soviet Union with their then preference for the public sector. now that the US has ended its space shuttle program. Russia. The largest and most attractive commercial use of outer space is the use through satellites. Beginning in the 1980ies. and Japan. namely using outer space by telecommunication satellites. space transportation. . and India have each conducted their own exploration of the Moon. which is based in Nevada. This was not the first space station but is the largest to date and the first to involve extensive international cooperation in an effort to share costs. in 1980 the semi-private firm Arianespace was established which became heavily involved in commercial launches. outer space has also become a realm for corporate research and investment. Japan. but are in an increasing way engaged in commercial uses. Not only more governments started to become interested and then active in space activities. Since 1998. the launching sector is still predominantly public but in a growing way commercialized and partially even semi-privatized. but were not the main actors in the governmental transportation system. 16 countries have participated in the construction of. There are three major forms of such satellite use. the European Space Agency (ESA). Ukraine. Russia. it was certainly true that in 1969. This did not really change in the Space Shuttle era. Europe is probably the region of the world that is very advanced in commercialization and privatization of the launching market. In addition. Its plan is to lease space to corporations and others interested in research and travel. Chrysler. one could observe a slowly changing number of space users. or habitat. Russia. such as Russia. It is only recently that President Obama has indicated a considerable interest and even given a policy directive that more commercialization and even privatization of the space transportation sector in the United States would be aimed at. by satellites for Earth observation – socalled remote sensing – and by navigation satellites. both the United States of America and the Soviet Union possessed public systems. It is manned by a crew of up to 6 scientists and other individuals (including tourists) who are shuttled back and forth in Russian spacecraft. If one first has a look into the space transportation sector. Kazakhstan. Europe basically uses Arianespace and thus the semi-private enterprise. Thus. IBM and McDonnell Douglas thus contributed. China and India provide public launch services.

Finally. one can clearly find a tendency towards privatization. but what shall be offered by firms like Virgin Galactic is suborbital flights to enjoy micro or zero gravity. With regard to remote sensing of the Earth by satellites. One can of course already designate the visit to the International Space Station as such a space touristic activity. NASA). Dollars as space tourists made it clear that the participants of this great endeavour will call for commercial uses of the International Space Station. It is based on the Intergovernmental Agreement of the United States. Here the entire undertaking is completely private as will be the basic touristic infrastructure in the form of different space ports. which is the most lucrative space application. on the one hand. India). ERS (ESA). But the concrete services for the end users a taken by private firms like Tom Tom. France). there are commercial providers such as ECONOS (US). of course. we have two existing public infrastructures with GPS and GLONASS and a planned public infrastructure GALILEO and the Chinese Beidou (Compass). there is a rather new development with another form of space touristic activities. . So. primarily scientific purposes which the ISS shall serve. Orbit View (US) and Rapid Eye (Germany). Canada and 10 ESA Member States.With regard to telecommunication. Russia. Earth Observation System (EOS. there are. SPOT (CNES. Besides its high political value as a symbol of inter-State cooperation. Moreover. The rationale of the ISS is rather unclear. we find private satellite uses like for example SES Astra in Luxembourg and the US enterprise IRIDIUM. LANDSAT (NASA). The international telecommunication public enterprise INTELSAT had been privatized and is now Intelsat Inc. IRS (ISRO. one can observe a considerable move towards privatization. Terrasar X and Tandem X by Germany (DLR). Quick Bird (US). With regard to navigation satellites. On the other hand. we can find. semi-public entities running the remote sensing for commercial ends like ENVISAT (ESA). The use of the International Space Station (ISS) is governed by public entities. Japan. Globalsat and a variety of providers of so-called smart phones.

In the past as well. the importance of the UN in bringing different parties to the table. satellite communications and satellite remote sensing. three specific sets of national laws for each of the three respective areas where private enterprise has become substantially involved in space activities: launching. conducting negotiations and forming the most widely acceptable law is paramount. In the course of the 1990s. acceptable solution while considering amendment of International Space Law. Even more to the point. policy makers apparently and increasingly became aware of a number of overarching and transversal issues and problems amongst the various sectors. the United Nations has served the greater purpose of settling space related disputes between member nations. • UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations has the most important role to play in the formation. The “Commercial Space Launch Act” was enacted on 30 October 1984 specifically to deal with one of the three fields of interest to private enterprise: launching activities. The Office for Outer Space Affairs. . through discussions on global platforms and the subsequent formation of the Outer Space Treaty among others. solidifying the relevant arrangements without fundamentally changing them. Therefore. it was the absence of substantial success in the prodding of private enterprise to enter the business that led to the enactment of Amendments to the Launch Act’ in 1988. in addition to a general space law. It was directly aimed at inducing involvement of the United States private sector in such activities. development and amendment of International Space Law and treaties. the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958. These Acts were later incorporated more formally into the US Codes. • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The United States originally took the approach of establishing. a UN Commission is the one responsible for coordinating International Space Law through deliberations with member nations of the United Nations. Also the growing private and commercial use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) signals and the impending prospect of partly commercial International Space Station (ISS) operations called for a more comprehensive approach to private and commercial involvement in US space activities.ROLE OF THE UNITED NATIONS AND OTHER MAJOR ACTORS: It is important to keep the position of various important actors in mind in order to reach the most effective.

would have to be dealt with. in order to deal with communications on the federal level. he might be obliged to refund the government for any international liability claims awarded . The Act in practical terms applies to the launching. Even more sweepingly. One might expect activities such as those envisaged by Mr. It is relevant. the United Kingdom promulgated its Outer Space Act. Within the United Kingdom for some time a debate has been raging in particular as to whether the liability and insurance obligations are still in line with overall UK policies vis-a-vis private activities. The Act itself repeatedly refers to the international obligations of the United Kingdom in this respect. or procuring of launching. US policy over the last years has largely focused on international aspects of the sector. the relevant rules of international space law vis-a-vis private enterprise. as a non-space activity. of a space object. without a right to participate in the proceedings itself. the Communications Act has been partially overtaken by the 1996 Telecommunications AC~'~ and the 2000 ORBIT Act'~. The major reason for such legislative action was the growing need to implement domestically.In 1934. which entered into force in1989. or "any activity in outer space". carrying on an activity in outer space is defined as "causing it to occur or [being] responsible for its continuing". the operation thereof. In many ways. Branson (a UK citizen) in setting up Virgin Galactic to raise the stakes in this debate even further. . Especially the inclusion of procurement should be noted. the “Communications Act” was enunciated in the United States.16 Meanwhile. In particular issues of safety and liability. No doubt the debate will make reference one way or another to similar contexts in civil aviation. the US market is considered mature enough not to require fundamental or even revolutionary domestic legislative activities. An individual involved anywhere down the chain of causation or responsibility could thus find himself included in the scope of the Act.this. in terms of international space law liability. As a consequence. both third party and contractual vis-a-vis the passengers. The major legal issue involved in this context is that concerning the possible auctioning and ownership of frequency assignments. • UNITED KINGDOM: On 18 July 1986. moreover. whether or not it will in the end find its way into the UK Outer Space Act. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) declared in 1970 that the Communications Act applied to space telecommunications as well. As active US involvement in the context of the World Trade Organization to enhance global liberalization and privatization of satellite communications and the ORBIT Act in particular have shown. the focus is rather on making existing procedures (even) more flexible and business-friendly. which is why one might expect the major national policy and legislative developments to arise in that area. such changes however did not fundamentally impinge upon the system of licensing private entities for relevant activities. does the license obligation comprises all activities "immediately connected with operations to explore and use outer space". the construction of spacecraft or financial arrangements relating to space activities such as loans and leases would also fall within the scope of the Russian Law. While it should be noted that many issues are explicitly deferred to further future legislation. defined as "all activities supporting. satellite communications and remote sensing activities are therefore clearly included in the relevant licensing obligations. the President of the Russian Federation signed the Russian law regarding space activities. The scope of the Russian Law in practical terms . space activities7'. defined as "activities directly contributing to the launching of spacecraft and the operation of such crafts in outer space". The assertion of personal jurisdiction on the other hand is comprehensive. 25 Included within the aims of the Law is the regulation of any potential private involvement in the activities under consideration.• RUSSIAN FEDERATION: On 20 August 1993. by the relevant term "space activities" are the creation. Also included. Hence. and applies to all space activities entailing obligations for South Africa under applicable international treaties. the Russian Law's provisions in this regard go much further than even the procurement included in the 1986 UK Space Act. and other products and services necessary for carrying out space activities”. use and transfer of “space techniques. Thus. space technology. or sharing mutual technologies with. South Africa's territorial jurisdiction has only been asserted with respect to the activities of launching itself and presumably . The Act deals with "space activities". "space-related activities". at this point from the perspective of private enterprise the following picture arises.operating a launch facility. Space communications and space remote sensing are expressly enumerated as examples. . while launch activities undoubtedly fall within the general circumscription as provided. thus bringing it into force. The Act largely was a response to the growing interest of South African industrial and service sectors in space. Furthermore. Launching operations. also fall within the scope of the Act. • SOUTH AFRICA: On 6 September 1993. the Space Affairs Act of the Republic of South Africa entered into force.

a few in cooperation with other scientific Unions. open to all scientists. the 1997 Ordinance was essentially targeted to deal with the legal consequences of Hong Kong henceforth constituting a Special Administrative Region within the People's Republic of China. since then it produced several editions of the high atmosphere code CIRA. Formally the Ordinance provides for any activities carried on fiom Hong Kong regardless of the nationality of the relevant actors to require a license (in addition to activities of Hong Kong 'nationals' elsewhere). information. With the United Kingdom having in place its Outer Space Act since 1986189. as well as granting Hong Kong a special status from a legal and administrative point of view. The Committee on Space Research has also been involved in translating provisions of the Outer Space Treaty and others into recommendations and is often an observer at the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of the Outer Space sessions.Among COSPAR's objectives are the promotion of scientific research in space on an international level. The long term project COSPAR international reference atmosphere started in 1960. the Ordinance may be considered more comprehensive than the UK Act. The obvious backdrop to this was the return of the Hong Kong territories to the People's Republic of China after having been part of the United Kingdom for many decades. The code "IRI" of the URSI-COSPAR working group on the International Reference Ionosphere was first edited in 1978 and is yearly updated.• THE HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION OF CHINA: In 1997. with emphasis on the free exchange of results. and other means. the current version of Hong Kong's Outer Space was enunciated. In other words: foreign entities or persons undertaking such space activities from Hong Kong do require a license. . whereas in the case of the United Kingdom such was not the case. These objectives are achieved through the organization of symposia. and providing a forum. • COMMITTEE ON SPACE RESEARCH (COSPAR): The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) was established by the International Council for Science in 1958. for the discussion of problems that may affect space research. In this sense. whereas in the British case this was only mandatory for British citizens and entities undertaking such activities. publication. with Hong Kong being a major focal point for (in particular) satellite communications activities and with the People's Republic of China recognizing this. The major non-procedural differentiator with the UK Act would lie in the scope of activities included in the licensing requirement. COSPAR has created a number of research programmes on different topics. and opinions.

The last date for sending in your Position Papers is 28th of July! Send them to uncopuosbvcmun2013@gmail.POINTS TO BE CONSIDERED IN A RESOLUTION: A Draft Resolution is a draft of all proposed solutions to the problem. Effective merging of these domestic laws with international space law through amendment of existing Keeping recent developments in international space law in mind including their bearing on future amendments. Coming to a globally accepted solution to the existing problems associated with space related international treaties. Effective use of regional space organizations for further deliberations and research. Consideration of increasing commercialization and privatization of space affairs by countries and national agencies. The mandate of the UNCOPUOS to be kept in mind at all times when proposing any solutions on behalf of the council. We wish you all the very best! . Identifying the problems with existing treaties and addressing them effectively. The following are some pointer that should be kept in mind while working on the resolution and even your research: • • • • • • • • Consideration of domestic laws of all nations.

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