Geneva, 28 August 2023 (TDI): In order to promote responsible behavior in outer space, a diverse group of countries including Brazil, the Philippines, Germany, and the Netherlands have united to share their perspectives on mitigating space threats.

The importance of ensuring the sustainable use of outer space for the benefit of all nations has driven these countries to join forces and advocate for norms, rules, and principles that guide responsible conduct in the cosmos.

In a joint statement delivered on August 28, the Netherlands highlighted the significance of reducing space threats through the application of norms and principles of responsible behavior.

The statement, made on behalf of multiple nations including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, and more, expressed gratitude for the United Nations Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) and its efforts to foster meaningful dialogue on outer space security.

The OEWG process has proven to be an inclusive and constructive platform, facilitating discussions among Member States and relevant stakeholders on the subject of space threats.

In conjunction with the mandates of various international bodies such as the Conference on Disarmament and the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, the OEWG’s role in addressing space-related challenges is deemed crucial.

Key elements of the joint statement revolve around recognizing existing international legal frameworks applicable to outer space activities.

It underscores the importance of adhering to the Outer Space Treaty and other pertinent treaties, customary international law, international humanitarian law, and human rights law.

The statement emphasizes the need for responsible behavior and the consideration of other states’ rights and interests in all space-related endeavors.

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The statement also acknowledges the OEWG’s role in deepening states’ understanding of threats to outer space security across various dimensions, including space-to-earth, space-to-space, earth-to-space, and earth-to-earth interactions.

Recommendations on potential norms, rules, and principles for responsible conduct are outlined in the statement.

These include the application of international law to the space environment, enhancing transparency and building confidence, addressing the risks posed by the destruction and incapacitation of space objects, managing rendezvous and proximity operations, and safeguarding critical space-based services for civilians.

Furthermore, the statement emphasizes that political commitments to responsible behavior are essential, they can coexist with the pursuit of legally binding measures and instruments.