Country: South Africa
Delegate Name: Avi Messamore
Committee: Disarmament and International Security Committee
Topic: Militarization of Outer Space
Country: South Africa
School: Mattawan High School
The term, Militarization of outer space, insinuates using technology placed in space for military use. Militarizing space takes place in government bases, their astronautics agencies, and of course, in orbit around the planet. Several countries, such as China, Russia, the US, and India, have already taken action to militarize space. Other countries, such as The UK, France, Japan, and South Korea are still taking steps toward implementing their own military space forces. Militarizing space affects not only each individual government, but it affects each country’s people. Governments have the capability to spy on and even send missiles into other countries, all through the access and use of space technology. This topic should be discussed in order to determine how to keep space peaceful and to protect the security of countries.
The director and deputy to the high representative for disarmament affairs, Adedeji Ebo, has stated that “preserving outer space as a realm free of conflict and weaponization remains an urgent priority” (United Nations). So far, the most important treaty created to manage space affairs was The 1967 Outer Space Treaty. The treaty bans any Weapons of Mass Destruction from entering space, and military setups are not allowed on celestial bodies. The treaty also states that space cannot be claimed by any country as a territory, and that astronauts are obligated to help one another while in space. The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, Is a non-government organization advocating for peaceful use of space. They try to globally promote peace in space by holding annual summits to discuss future protests, and current space issues, and share information.
The threat of militarizing space concerns South Africa. If South Africa’s satellites were to be destroyed, the economy would soon follow. South Africa uses satellites for purposes such as maintaining the economy, tracking weather, and GPS just as any country would go about using space technology. Weapons in space threaten the safety of satellites that countries use to maintain the everyday lives of their citizens. South Africa has tried to spread awareness to create and maintain peace in space.South Africa will support any policies supporting the peaceful use of space. South Africa will neglect to support policies such as weaponizing space be it any form of weaponry and not just nuclear affairs.
There should be monitoring of space weaponry to keep debris from harming satellites, as well as laws prohibiting space from becoming a war zone. ASAT (Anti-satellite) weapons should be banned from being implemented into space. South Africa would also like to avoid an arms race in space, to do so member states must work together to avoid unfair technological advantages in space. Transparency with other countries will help create bonds to which countries will be able to share information and resources in order to build trust and avoid conflict. Banning weapons that could cause conflicts between countries will help space stay void of warfare. By keeping space free of conflict, countries won’t have to worry about the safety of their satellites, which if damaged could ruin their countries state of being.