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1 UNIDIR Space Security Conference 2012 [i] (2012)

handle is hein.unl/spaseco2012 and id is 1 raw text is: UNIDIR Space Security Conference 2012





Conference Report
The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) held its
eleventh annual conference on space security from 29 to 30 March 2012. The
conference, entitled Laying the Groundwork for Progress, was co-sponsored
by Secure World Foundation and had support from The Simons Foundation and
the governments of the People's Republic of China, the Russian Federation and
the United States of America. This year, the conference outlined the basics of
space security and provided an outlook on its future and the potential progress
that could be made. Furthermore, some domestic considerations and technical
challenges were discussed that impact space security as well as transparency and
confidence-building measures (TCBMs).
One of the key themes that emerged from the conference was that, while there
is consensus on the need for space sustainability and security, it is a difficult task
to accomplish with many possible ways forward. The international community is
tackling these challenges within the context of several international initiatives,
each with its own priorities and perspectives and subject to domestic and
technical considerations. This report aims solely to reflect the content of the
presentations and discussions and does not necessarily reflect the opinions and
positions of UNIDIR, the sponsoring organizations or supporting states.
The 2012 UNIDIR Space Security Conference took place at a timely juncture in
the development of international space policy. The conference occurred in the
context of marked progress as regards several key international space security
efforts. Specifically, the United States announced a few months prior to the
conference that it would pursue an International Code of Conduct for Outer
Space Activities; the first meeting of the United Nations Group of Governmental
Experts (GGE) on TCBMs in Outer Space Activities was scheduled to convene
several months after the conference; and progress continued in the United
Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) Long-term
Sustainability of Space Activities (LTSSA) Working Group.
The opening speakers of the 2012 conference pointed out that agreement on
taking an international approach to space security and sustainability seems
to stem from an increasing recognition that space sustainability is both
undeniably needed and threatened. The emergence of space sustainability as an
international priority is the result of decades of evolution in the way that humans
view and utilize the space environment. It is no longer simply the domain of
two superpowers engaged in a Cold War but rather a resource upon which many
countries depend. Moreover, actors in space have expanded from just state


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