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.

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