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Press Release of the Hague Space Resources Governance Working Group

The Hague Space Resources Governance Working Group, hosted by the IIASL, has recently agreed on the Draft Building Blocks for the Development of an International Framework on Space Resource Activities and will present the outcome of its work during the NewSpace Europe Conference in Luxembourg. The Executive Secretary, Dr. Giuseppe Reibaldi, and the Vice Chair of the Working Group, Dr. Michael Simpson, held a press conference on 16 November in the framework of the NewSpace Conference in Luxembourg.

The Hague Space Resources Governance Working Group was established in 2015 and carried out its activities during 2016 and 2017. The objective of the WG was to assess the need for a regulatory framework for space resource activities related to the use of mineral and volatile materials on the Moon and other Celestial Bodies, as well as, in case of need, to lay the groundwork for the development of such a regulatory framework. Such groundwork could include the identification and development of building blocks for the governance of space resources with possible implementation strategies as well as the identification of a relevant forum for negotiations in order to encourage states to start negotiating an international agreement or non-legally binding instrument, such as a code of conduct to regulate the use of space resources.

The Working Group was hosted by a consortium of organizations representing all continents. The WG had 22 members and more than 40 observers. The members represented governments, international organizations, space agencies, industry and academics from various disciplines. Four face-to-face meetings were held in Leiden, the Netherlands. The Working Group has been recognized as a valuable informal international multi-stakeholder forum to discuss space resource governance issues. The Working Group has also been invited to participate in the UN Action Team on Exploration and Innovation, set up to support Thematic Priority 1 of UNISPACE+50, to be held in June 2018.

The Working Group has achieved its objective: 19 Building Blocks were provisionally identified and elaborated by its members, and this has concluded the phase 1. At the NewSpace Europe conference, the Working Group had the chance to present the Building Blocks and the outlook for the continuation of its activities in the period 2018/19.

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