Under stress: Space security in 2017

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Project Ploughshares and its partners on the Space Security Index (SSI) project joined with the Government of Canada in hosting a First Committee side event on October 17 to launch the 2017 edition of the annual report. The panel discussion was chaired by Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Rosemary McCarney, whose opening remarks emphasized the importance of diligent research …

Outer space: New and old challenges

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Ploughshares program officer Jessica West was among the speakers who addressed outer space security at the UN First Committee meetings in October. She focused on trends in outer space governance and how they relate to the key tenets of the Outer Space Treaty. Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 38 Issue 4 Winter 2017 Responding to new and old challenges As West …

Divisions on outer space security

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A cautious optimism marked the opening of debates on outer space at the United Nations First Committee on Disarmament and International Security this past October. However, serious divisions quickly became apparent. Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 38 Issue 4 Winter 2017 by Jessica West No weapons in outer space, yet Proposals were advanced to overcome the longstanding stagnation of efforts to …

Humanitarian disarmament: Putting people first

Branka Marijan Featured 0 Comments

The Humanitarian Disarmament Forum, which began in 2012, has become an annual gathering, conducted on the margins of the UN General Assembly First Committee. The 2017 Forum, organized by Human Rights Watch, PAX, and the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic, was held at the UN Church Center from October 13-15. In attendance were some 90 participants from 50 …

We cannot and do not support Bill C-47 in its current form

Cesar Jaramillo Featured 0 Comments

Remarks to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development— November 2, 2017 By Cesar Jaramillo, Executive Director, Project Ploughshares Good afternoon. My name is Cesar Jaramillo and I am the executive director of Project Ploughshares. Thank you very much for the kind invitation to address this Committee. For decades, efforts to better regulate illicit or …

Disarming Security: Project Ploughshares and Canadian military export policy

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On February 14, 2015, Ed Fast, the former Canadian Minister of International Trade, helped announce the largest advanced manufacturing contract in Canadian history. A brilliant economic achievement on paper, the 14-year, multi-billion-dollar deal promised to directly benefit 500 Canadian companies, and continue an important trade alliance with a strategic ally. The only catch was that the deal was to manufacture …

The case for the Petrov rule

Branka Marijan Featured 0 Comments

On September 26, 1983, Stanislav Petrov, a 44-year-old lieutenant-colonel in the Soviet Air Defence Forces, made a critical decision (Chan 2017). Petrov was on duty at Serpukhov-15, a control centre outside Moscow that monitored the Soviet Union’s Oko early-warning satellite system, which identified ballistic missile launches, mainly by the United States. The Soviet Union/Russia used these satellites until 2015. Petrov …

Nuclear disarmament: The best of times and the worst of times

Cesar Jaramillo Featured 0 Comments

As 2017 draws to a close, two ostensibly contradictory yet coexisting realities define the global nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation regime. Each brims with intensity, the likes of which have not been observed in decades. Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 38 Issue 4 Winter 2017 by Cesar Jaramillo A serious threat On the one hand, the threat of nuclear-weapons use, by miscalculation …

Outer Space Security: Statement to the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly First Committee

Cesar Jaramillo 0 Comments

Chair, today is an auspicious day to address this Committee on the security of outer space. On this very date, October 10th, the Outer Space Treaty—the bedrock of international space law—entered into force exactly 50 years ago. Outer space now provides vast social, scientific, and economic benefits to humanity. But the sustainability of this critical domain also faces critical challenges. …

Outer space: The latest security assessment

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For a small but increasing number of states, space services provide the capability to deploy military personnel globally and apply force more efficiently and effectively. Increasingly, these states view space as a sphere to be dominated and defended. Space is not insulated from conflict on Earth, and it can unpredictably escalate crises on the ground or be the spark that …