12 Nov 2019

Britain releases statement on space debate after UN General Assembly

The UK has released a statement in line with the EU position on the space debate following the UN General Assembly.

The British government has released a statement confirming its position on the space debate and addressing the importance of the space sector. The statement asks the UN to keep up with new technology in the international framework.

The statement examines the proposed treaty to Prevent the Placement of Weapons in Space and says it is too narrow in its definition and cannot easily be verified. It says a broad approach is needed in order to address issues and accommodate new technology.

The statement says: “Now we need to discuss a new set of questions, including how to better communicate in normal times and at times of heightened tension, and how to clearly demonstrate our intent and explain our behaviours.”

“We are clear that we must move beyond the outdated concept of the placement of weapons in space, work with new direction and build a new political consensus.”

“We need to build trust in each others’ actions; define acceptable and unacceptable behaviour; establish norms around the use of on-earth technologies that can affect satellites; and improve our techniques for verifying capability and intent, and for attributing attacks.”

The UK is not ruling out a possible treaty on outer space in the future and has expressed interest in exploring different approaches. They say that in order to move forward operations in space must be examined to reduce possible risks to UN member states.

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