The Future of the UN Space-Related Framework
The overlapping mandates of COPUOS and the CD and the demonstrated need to discuss certain space matters in a cooperative manner, combined with the fact that the collaboration between COPUOS and the CD is extremely limited, raises the question of whether the current UN space-related framework is adequate to deal with current and future space matters. This chapter aims to answer that question. Therefore, it will first give a short overview of some of the more pressing issues that affect the peaceful use of outer space and the disarmament of outer space alike, namely space traffic management (STM), space debris and the long-term sustainability of outer space activities (LTS). Without going into exhaustive detail, this chapter will outline the essence of the subject matter and the need to discuss these matters in a more cooperative effort. Thereafter, this chapter evaluates the current UN space-related framework and how well equipped it is to deal with the three space matters. In light of the deliberations in the COPUOS and the CD, the interrelatedness of space matters and the lack of cooperation between the two forums, the conclusion is drawn that the current UN space-related framework is not able to effectively discuss the challenges posed by near- to medium-term space issues and challenges.