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Could an optional protocol be the way to stop the weaponization of outer space?
International Journal  (IF0.836),  Pub Date : 2021-06-03, DOI: 10.1177/00207020211020521
Paul Meyer

Since the early 1980s, the United Nations General Assembly and its affiliated forum, the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, has had the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space issue on its agenda. In the intervening years, the threat of weapons being introduced into the outer space realm has waxed and waned, but, in the main, a benign environment free from man-made threats has prevailed, allowing for great strides in the exploration and use of space. Recently, a renewal of great power rivalry including the development of offensive ‘counter-space’ capabilities has resurrected the spectre of armed conflict in space. With widespread political support for the non-weaponization of outer space, has the time come to give legal expression to this goal by means of an optional protocol to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty?