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The Diplomacy of Space Security: Whither the International Code of Conduct? (SWP 38)

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Author: Meyer, Paul
The potential for outer space weaponization represented by the testing of anti-satellite weapons by China and the U.S. in 2007 and 2008 respectively has raised long dormant concerns. These may help explain the initiative of the European Union to present a draft Code of Conduct on Outer Space activities in December 2008. This collection of voluntary confidence-building measures has had a difficult diplomatic roll-out, with over five years of EU-conducted consultations still not resulting in an agreed product. An evaluation of the Code's contents concludes that its most promising elements lie in its provision for an on-going, institutionalized discussion of outer space issues amongst subscribing states. A review of reactions to the proposed Code on the part of leading space nations highlights some of the outstanding areas of concern. Unless the EU finds a way to "multilateralize" the negotiation of the Code it may prove difficult to bring this initiative to a successful conclusion.
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ISSN 1922-5725
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Meyer, Paul, The Diplomacy of Space Security: Whither the International Code of Conduct?, Simons Papers in Security and Development, No. 38/2014, School for International Studies, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, July 2014.
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