A Vibe Check on Space Security Diplomacy: Progress or More Spinning Wheels?




October 26, 2023


11:00 a.m.


Senior Researcher Jessica West will participate in a webinar, hosted by Secure World Foundation (SWF), on the United Nations Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) on Reducing Space Threats, October 26.

Space security discussions within the United Nations have been taking place since the early 1980s,although without much progress. Over the last several years there has been an attempt to reboot these discussions by shifting them from debating definitions and prohibitions on space weapons to discussions on broader space threats and responsible or irresponsible behavior. 

In 2021, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted to convene an Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on “Reducing space threats through norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviours.” The OEWG on Reducing Space Threats held four week-long meetings across 2022 and 2023 that included more than seventy countries and featured some of the first substantive discussions on space security since the 2011Group of Governmental Experts on Transparency and Confidence-building Measures in Outer Space Activities. The OEWG completed in August 2023 without having reached consensus on a summary report of their discussions, let alone agreement on ways to address these critical issues. Concurrently, the United States launched a new initiative with a voluntary moratorium on destructive direct ascent anti-satellite (DA-ASAT) missile testing, which has since garnered additional pledges from 34 additional countries.

Please join SWF for a webinar to discuss as we bring together a virtual panel of experts to discuss what happened during the OEWG, why it was important, and what the next steps might be.