7 May 2010. ESPI co-organised with the University of Nebraska College of Law’s Space and Telecommunications Law Program a conference on “Space security and space tourism: challenges to, and transatlantic perspectives on, governance”. This event is part of the Institute’s efforts to expand the existing dialogue on assessing space security issues and identifying possible joint activities.
On 6 -7 May 2010, ESPI and the University of Nebraska’s (UNL) College of Law co-organised a conference on space security and space tourism (programme can be downloaded here). The conference was held in the College of Law’s Ross McCollum Hall. The UNL College of Law’s Space and Telecom Law LL.M. Program is the first of its kind in the U.S. and is on a path to become a leading international program in this field. The conference was UNL’s Fourth Annual Space and Telecommunications Law Conference. The first day of the conference, entitled “Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures: Alternative Vehicles to Advance Space Security”, was dedicated to the role of, as well as challenges associated with, adopting transparency and confidence-building measures in space. It is a topic directly connected with a study on Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures For Space Security currently being conducted by Jana Robinson, ESPI Resident Fellow.
Speakers of the first day (from right): Peter L.Hays, Darren Huskisson,
Lt.Col. Brandon Hart, Richard L. Williamson, Jean Francois Mayence,
Jana Robinson, Louis Haeck, Bhupendra Jasani, Joshua T. Hartman,
Amb. Richard Butler, Kenneth Hodgkins, Matthew Schaefer and Kai-Uwe Schrogl
The conference addressed various issues connected with space security and space tourism, from the trans-Atlantic perspective. The keynote addresses were delivered by Ambassador Richard Butler, the United Nations’ former Under Secretary General and chief Iraq weapons inspector (1997 - 1999), and U.S. Air Force Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, commander of U.S. Strategic Command (US STRATCOM). Gen. Chilton provided his view on the key elements of future space security, including the reinforcing role of transparency and confidence-building measures in space.
Gen. Kevin P. Chilton with UNL faculty and ESPI’s Kai-Uwe Schrogl
In addressing space security and TCBM-related issues, the panelists agreed on the importance of trans-Atlantic relations and the need to deepen existing exchanges concerning this vital area. Cooperation between the two sides is especially important in the current environment favoring multilateralism and engagement, modalities directly relevant to space-related activities. Experts on terrestrial arms control and disarmament including Lt. Col. Brandon Hart of the US STRATCOM, Prof. Bhupendra Jasani of King’s College, Prof. Richard Williamson of University of Miami, and Dr. Louis Haeck of Royal Military College of Canada, addressed the strengths and shortcomings of terrestrial TCBMs. The speakers likewise expressed their views on which existing arms control treaties (e.g. NPT), agreements (e.g. Accident Measures Agreement) and organisations (e.g. IAEA) could be relevant in developing behavioral norms in space. The speakers concurred on the need to: develop generally accepted norms; clarify their meaning, including identifying illicit behavior; and formulate means of verification and enforcement.
Other distinguished panelists, included Kenneth Hodgkins of the U.S. Space Department, Dr. Peter L. Hays of the National Security Space Office, Jean Francois Mayence of the Belgian Federal Office for Science Policy (also a representative of the upcoming Belgium EU Council Presidency), Durren Huskisson of the US STRATCOM, and Josh Hartman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Each presented their views on how to advance the establishment of cooperative security architecture in space. Objectives include garnering support for those TCBMs that would promote the minimum level of responsible behavior in space; assessing the adequacy of existing legal frameworks; configuring verification measures; and specifying other concrete actions to be taken.
ESPI Resident Fellow Jana Robinson with the co-organisers of the conferences,
UNL professors Matt Schaefer and Frans von der Dunk
As a co-sponsor of the conference, ESPI continues to create new venues to intensify the transatlantic partnership in the growing space security portfolio. This is also evidenced, for example, by the testimony of ESPI’s Director before the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2009, a study presentation in Washington the same month (related webnews here), and meetings with representatives of the State Department, including the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, in July 2009 (related webnews here). Moreover, ESPI’s space security research programme, now led by Jana Robinson, and to which Wolfgang Rathgeber and Nina-Louis Remuss contributed in the past, deals with a number of issues pertaining to trans-Atlantic relations. The proceedings of the Nebraska conference, as well as a study on TCBMs in space, currently being prepared by Jana Robinson, will be published as ESPI Reports in September.