As global interdependences proliferate, it is becoming increasingly vital to comprehend space as a dynamic realm of interaction and coexistence. In particular, space has maintained its significance as a pivotal domain for human survival and development, with stern repercussions for the global community. In the light of evolving dynamics, there is an urgent call for Space Council action to ensure the preservation and development of this critical infrastructure.
Breaking free from the traditional binary debate, there is an urgent need for comprehending the gravity of space infrastructure. Rather than depicting space as a theatre for power dynamics or a battle zone for state interests, it should be understood as an indivisible common heritage of humankind. It is about time to de-politicise space and harness it for the collective good of humanity.
The infrastructure in space includes a wide array of satellites used for navigation, communication, weather forecasting, terrestrial imaging, research, and military applications. This high-tech hardware floating in space orbits is critical not only for security and strategic affairs but also plays a vital role in our daily lives. If ignored or allowed to diminish due to conflicts, the implications would be disastrous, affecting every facet of our modern civilization.
The Space Council’s pivotal role in maintaining and developing this space infrastructure cannot be overstressed. The Council is in a unique position to mediate the different interests and build consensus amongst nations in safeguarding this common heritage. This requires a paradigm shift in the geopolitical perspective – a recognition and acceptance of space as a shared resource rather than as a fragmented field for competitive interests.
However, there is a concerning lack of unified global action to deal with threats to space infrastructure, which could potentially disrupt lives, economies, and security on a global scale. Worrying signs include escalating militarization and the proliferation of space debris. International law regarding outer space remains ambiguous, outdated, and insufficient to tackle contemporary challenges. The Space Council must engineer new regulations and norms to ensure the long-term sustainability of space activities.
Moreover, potential non-state actors – corporations, academia, or private individuals – are increasingly getting involved in space affairs, adding complexity to the traditional state-centric space governance structure. The Space Council must accommodate these new participants without compromising the universal values of peace and prosperity.
Lastly, effective and inclusive stewardship of space critical infrastructure requires innovative technologies to mitigate predictable and unpredicted threats. Collaboration must reach beyond borders, extending not only to nation-states but also to private entities, technological giants, research institutions, and international organizations.
To conclude, it is essential to fathom space as common heritage and infrastructure. Unraveling the outdated binary debate, a comprehensive and cooperative global approach is crucial to ensure the sustainable use and protection of space. It calls for profound action from the Space Council, which should act as a global space trustee, fostering cooperation, ensuring security, and promoting peaceful and beneficial uses of space for all. Today’s actions in preserving and nurturing this asset will determine the survival and progress of future human societies