The 2021 UN General Assembly resolution 76/231 led to the establishment of a new Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on reducing space threats through norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviours. ESPI produced and submitted a working paper to the OEWG secretariat to support their deliberations.

ESPI’s submission focuses on three overarching messages:

  • The OEWG is well suited to stimulate convergence on behavioural expectations to reduce the probability of misunderstanding and miscalculations, even without providing a common definition of what actions constitute a responsible behaviour.
  • Previous experience with development of space norms, rules and principles has entailed a few common hurdles and roadblocks, which should be considered by the OEWG with due attention.
  • While the work on new space norms, rules and principles will ultimately need to seek a broad international convergence, it should also facilitate the option of a bottom-up regional engagement, if relevant and constructive.

The first session of the OEWG will be held from 9-13 May 2022 at the Palais des Nations, United Nations Office at Geneva. Further information, as well as additional working papers that the OEWG received, are available on the OEWG website.




ESPI - European Space Policy Institute

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Phone +43 1 718 11 18 -0

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