“The rise in geo-political tensions we see on earth is being extended and projected into space", so said Josep Borrell, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union. In a statement that would later transpire to be an admission that the EU were indeed streets behind international partners in asserting their influence regarding space laws, Mr Borrell's concerns demonstrated the distinct lack of cohesion with regards to international consensus currently.
With increasingly aggressive rhetoric emerging from global superpowers, along with the recent foundation of the US' Space Force, the race to secure peaceful diplomacy in space is being outpaced by the race for superpowers to assert their influence. In an effort to thaw the heightening tensions in space, Dr Igor Ashurbeyli, Founder of Asgardia - the world's first space nation - has provided insight into how the adoption of the MILAMOS Project could set a precedent for international space diplomacy.
"The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 has been increasingly neglected by global powers, with the heightened rhetoric of aggression in space over the past few years serving as a reminder to the extent to which there little recognition of collective responsibility for space relations. As the United States and China ramp up their plans for asserting their influence in space, it is evident that without recognised international agreements, the neutrality of space shall continue to be threatened.
One other pertinent hindrance to the establishment of international consensus has been the uncertainty regarding international relations within existing treaties on Earth. Brexit has offered a significant roadblock to European activity. With Britain's withdrawal, there will be a significant reduction to European budgeting, limiting the involvement that the majority of European states will be able to partake in, within the domain of space.
This has therefore begged the question as to whether we can rely on traditional structures of international diplomacy to ensure peace, and draft recognised legislation for space. At Asgardia, we have co-sponsored the MILAMOS (Manual on International Law Applicable Uses of Outer Space) Project. MILAMOS has been the brainchild of the team lead by Professor Ram Jakhu at McGill University and has sought to clarify the limitations international law places on the threat or use of force in outer space. It's aims include looking at how, against the backdrop of rapidly developing technologies and applications, what uses and objects are considered lawful or outrightly prohibited in the event of an outbreak of conflict in outer space.
Through our own ambitions to create the world's first space nation, Asgardians have a keen desire to ensure space remains a peaceful entity. We have been particularly enthusiastic in working with those who actively seek to secure peace and democracy in space, and our attendance at UN sponsored events is testament to our commitment of working with an international community who share our outlook.
Whilst the comments from Mr Borrell were of course indicative of the precarious position space diplomacy is in, it was confirmatory that wider efforts are required outside of traditional diplomatic processes. With a growing population of citizens and residents, it is our desire that Asgardia will be recognised as one of the leading voices for defending peaceful diplomacy, in a neutral space."
If you would like to learn more about Asgardia's efforts to help secure diplomatic relations in space, please do not hesitate to contact me.