Day 4, Session 2 of the #SpaceThreatsOEWG.

Exchange of views by Member States: 🧵
Live video feed here:…
Finishing topic 3, space-to-space threats.
#SouthKorea: re #RPO
If placed in same orbit as another satellite, could be regarded as threat.

Most helpful to establish international PRACTICE to improve communication, prenotification, consultation. Practice not regulation.
#Russia: Need to stick to purely legal approach and strictly comply with norms of international law that are already in place. Non-legal = subjective.

Supports delegation of #Egypt:need to develop a unified terminology to support discussions related to international space law.
#Russia re-iterates definition of "military threat" : Relations b/w or inside states characterized by the real possibility of a military conflict with high level of readiness.
#Russia: Dangerous rendezvous/RPO in space. Not illegal. Because does not represent the substance of a crime. Insisting on perceiving it in a certain way itself violates law through an effort to re-interpret law (best attempt at summary)

Only matters if it is peaceful or not.
#Russia: no one is talking about #ABM defence. This is a serious issue.

Re-iterates call for ban on testing/deployment/use of weapons in space as well as damage/destroy/change in trajectory of a space object.
#Austria: emphasizes need for info sharing, SSA, TCBMs to reduce perception of space threats and improve monitoring/verification.

Sees value in operationalizing Article 9 of the OST.
#Austria sees value in multi-stakeholder approach to #SpaceThreatsOEWG, compared to other processes.
#Austria: Welcome commitment by U.S. and other to refraine from destructive DA ASAT missile tests.

Concrete outcome could be understanding how to conduct RPO in a way that they are not considered threatening.
#Austria: #Cyber is concerning: accountability difficulty. Impacts beyond initial target. Recall cyber attack against commercial satellite.

Concerned about reverberating effects of damage/disruption to critical infrastructure. This is a humanitarian concern.
#Netherlands: Emphasis on behaviour rather than capabilities. Do not want to curb legit uses of space assets.

IHL applies to outer space.

Share view of Germany that military uses of space not prohibited and distinguished from weaponization of space, which Netherlands opposes
#Netherlands: certain conducts of RPO are irresponsible including forcing another satellite to perform evasive maneuvers. Intentionally dispersing space debris too.
#Netherlands Transparency is key. Have existing mechanisms for this including timely provision of info to UN Register. Hague Code of Conduct also relevant. And good work in other fora i.e. STM and work of commercial actors.
#China: Space to space threats is mainly from space based counter space weapons including following:

- Irresponsible space decision and war preparation including military doctrine
- Construction of space military force
- Counterspace operations
- Range of dual-purpose tech
#China: Concern development commercial constellations in LEO.

Generates risks including debris. Commercial participation in military activities.
#China on VERIFICATION: SSA tech could be potential method to detect and trace orbits/features of space objects. Should be politically accepted, tech feasible, and economically affordable and have a legal basis. Without this, it might become political.
#China: murder is illegal.

If activities are legal, how can they be "irresponsible"? Could unlawful actions be seen as "responsible"?
#Canada: Canada believes that respect for international law is of paramount importance. Some states may breach obligations in international law does not make it irrelevant. A mechanism to hold states accountable for such breaches.
#Canada re suggestion that "responsible" behaviour is subjective or discriminatory: it is the work of the OEWG to discuss these behaviours to alleviate the ambiguity and remove subjectivity.
#Canada: international space law developed out of series of nonbinding, normative UNGA resolutions outlining core principles eventually enshrined in OST and clarified in subsequent treaties. A continuing/evolving process.

OEWG is not the end: it's the beginning.
#UAE: Maintain outer space for peaceful uses only. Right to develop capabilities in a peaceful manner. Need opportunity to develop space programs for social and economic development. TF careful consideration to principles that require technical requirements.
#UAE: Equal and fair access to space important to consider when defining norms and verification methods.
#Pakistan: Line b/w peaceful and military uses becoming blurred. Nongovt actors no longer confided to peaceful exploitation. Growing number of dedicated space commands and unclear concepts of doctrine. OEWG must comprehensively examine full array of threats.
#Pakistan concerned that some States obstruct #PAROS discussions.

3 core principles:
-Use of outer space for benefit/interest of all
-Equal security for all
-Primary responsibility of states with significant military capabilities for space security.
#Pakistan: OEWG should consider norm that prohibits placement of weapons in outer space.
TOPIC 4: space-to-earth threats
#Philippines agrees with #Canada re conversations to alleviate ambiguity of norms strengthens international legal regime.

Important to bridge gaps in differences in interpretation of principles and how to operationalize them. Inclusive and open-ended.
#Philppines: conversation needs to evolve and transcend paradigm of strategic stability or prevention of arms races. Insufficient understanding of threat perceptions, lack of communication and lack of transparency = key.
#Philippines: Current earth to space security risk to consider: uncoordinated launches of vehicles/rockets and insufficient coordination re uncontrolled re-entry.

All should subscribe to Hague Code of Conduct + pre-launch notifications. Should elaborate provisions.
#Philippines Call to uphold legal obligation of due regard Article 9 OST. This includes transparency and efforts to operationalize provision for consultations.
#UnitedStates: One of most destabilizing space to earth threats has already been addressed and process at UN (WMD).

Re expert presentations: Space-based missile defence interceptors are not a serious issue. They are:
-Impractical, expensive, and difficult to defend.
#UnitedStates Should focus on threats that exist now rather than hypothetical concepts. Most pressing = destructive testing of DA ASAT missiles. Should not be afraid of incremental progress by adding to norms.
#UnitedStates: Should all be talking about transparency.

One country has established strategic support force within warfighting command and has tested a DA ASAT missile. How can we get others to be more transparent about plans and doctrines?
#Switzerland: Stationing weapons in outer space to attack ground-based targets has not materialized. But it can’t be ruled out. Has been under study including for BMD. Not banned by OST. Could contribute to strategic instability/multiplication of space-based systems under attack.
#Switzerland Developing clear rules including possibly legally binding rules against space-based strike weapons seems possible because they are not dual-purpose.
#Russia: Space to earth threats not so hypothetical. Must take this into account.
#Russia sees inclusivity as vital. And consensus.

Should highlight measures that all interested states see as vital. Includes legally binding instrument.
#Venezuela: Threats to earth are not hypothetical. Can be used to attack targets on the ground. Undermines IHL.

Threats to earth related to policies by states that see space as a domain of warfare alongside new forces and exercises.
#Venezuela: Need a legally binding instrument. TCBMs can help to reduce mistrust and enhance security. But only complimentary to law. Cannot replace. This is the position of Non-Aligned Movement.
#Venezuela: China = good illustrations re difficulties with concept of responsible behaviour.

Activities that are not military are under the mandate of COPOUS re Russian statement.
In right of reply the #UnitedStates addresses the X37B, noting effort at transparency. Asks for similar transparency re China's re-useable space plane currently in orbit.
#UnitedStates Why no legal position on issue not to deploy weapons in outer space.

References commercial MEV program (satellite servicing). Transparent. Operates based on consent. If this is viewed as a weapon then serious challenge to develop such a definition.
#UnitedStates would welcome additional transparency about advanced on-orbit capabilities of others.
#France: Encourages continued transparency and dialogue including on concept such as responsible behaviour. Hope that doubt can be lifted without accusations while expressing national concerns.

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