Delegate Name: Elexis Soukal
On October 4, 1957, the Soviets launched the first satellite, sputnik 1, into space. Then on April 12, 1961, four years after the launch of Sputnik, Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit Earth in Vostok 1. The United States saw this as a threat and feared they had fallen behind on developing new technology. Following that President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, which established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). unofficially starting and defining the space race, the race between the United States and the Soviet Union to travel to the moon. The United States won the race by putting men on the moon in 1969; Apollo 11’s mission sent Neil Armstrong, Micheal Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin to the moon. In just 65 years since the first space launch, we’ve made huge strides in space technology, even talking about colonizing Mars and expanding further into space. Countries are now looking to space for answers as they face population growth and resource needs, considering it for defense or strategic advantages. So far no one has violated the peaceful international space laws currently set in place under the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. However, this does not mean that there should be a less active approach to continue to discuss the agreements on the peaceful uses of outer space.
Italy recognizes the importance of setting firm boundaries for space militarization and will work towards personal limitations on space militarization so long as it does not interfere with innovation. Space should serve as a platform for the progress and enlightenment of humanity, rather than an arena for the expansion of military interests and national ambitions. The trend of militarizing outer space has been evident since the start of space exploration. Military forces globally utilize satellites for purposes that lack a peaceful nature, including guiding bombing raids and obtaining imagery of military installations. Italy has signed several key space-related treaties, including the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, the Rescue Agreement of 1968, the Liability Convention of 1972, and the Registration Convention of 1975. These agreements reflect Italy’s commitment to responsible and collaborative space exploration, addressing issues such as the peaceful use of outer space, rescue operations, liability for space object damage, and the registration of space objects. Italy’s active participation contributes to the international framework promoting transparency, cooperation, and accountability in space activities.
The Republic of Italy urges the United Nations to take a more specific approach to tackling the militarization of space to ensure it cannot be used for war. Italy recommends creating a sub-committee of the Disarmament and International Security Committee that will focus solely on the construction of treaties and logistics of countries seeking to expand into outer space. This will ensure no country will gain unfair advantages and will no countries seek to use space for war. As this is a global issue Italy recommends inviting other countries into the discussion even those that are not actively part of the United Nations. The goal should be to collect one or two representatives from each country to ensure the negotiations are fair and benefit all. Countries that are willing to demilitarize space or set firm limitations on militarization in space should be willing to bring other countries with different opinions in to secure the best possible solution for this issue. It is prominent that actions to limit space militarization are set in place now to ensure that it does not become a larger issue. Italy is willing to help budget the creation of the sub-committee and get other countries on board as well.