Earlier this month, a group of U.N. experts reached unanimous agreement on a slew of voluntary steps designed to encourage transparency and to generate global confidence around the activities of countries with space programs, according to a U.N. press release.
The 15-member panel of specialists, drawn from around the world, took a year to carry out its General Assembly-mandated work. The panel also advised that in “order to build confidence and trust among states, efforts should be made to reach universal participation, implementation and full adherence to the existing legal framework relating to outer space activities,” the release states.
The U.S. State Department last week applauded the panel’s groundbreaking work.
"The group’s study was a unique opportunity to establish consensus on the importance and priority of voluntary and pragmatic transparency and confidence-building measures to ensure the sustainability and safety of the space environment, as well as to strengthen stability and security in space for all nations,” a department press release reads.
The United States last year declared it would participate in efforts by the European Union and other countries to create an international code of conduct to guide nations’ space operations.