UNODA holds final meeting on space disarmament

A group of experts with the U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs recently held its final session on transparency and confidence-building measures related to disarmament in outer space activities.

The group held its final session from July 8 to July 12 in New York. Since July 2012, the group reviewed multiple proposals submitted by governments related to confidence-building and transparency measures in outer space. The measures addressed rules of conduct, the expansion of outer space activity transparency, the expansion of transparency of space programs and the development of mechanisms meant to resolve concerns.

The U.N.'s first efforts to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes started in 1957, months before the world launched the first artificial satellite into Earth's orbit. The U.N. considered proposals in the late 1950s and early 1950s for prohibiting the use of space for military purposes and the placement of weapons of mass destruction in outer space.

In 1967, the U.N. put into practice the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Mood and Other Celestial Bodies. The treaty provides a basic framework for international space law and prohibits placing nuclear weapons or any other WMDs into outer space or stationing weapons on celestial bodies.

UNODA supports all efforts to prevent an arms race from occurring in outer space.