Why the chances of conflict in outer space are going up

Jessica West Featured, Space Security Leave a Comment

…UN First Committee on International Security and Disarmament this autumn. In its place stands an assertion by the United States that outer space has been “transformed into a warfighting domain” and mutual accusations by the United States, Russia, and their allies related to various weapons programs.

This confrontation is significant. Previous hard-won modes of diplomatic cooperation have been sacrificed. For the first time since 2008, the United States and Israel voted against the resolution “Prevention of an arms race in outer space” that urges work on this topic at the Conference on Disarmament. Both states, with Cameroon and Palau, also cast negative votes on the resolution “Transparency and confidence-building measures [TCBMs] in outer space” that is linked to implementation of…

We are ready for 2019

Cesar Jaramillo Conventional Weapons, Defence & Human Security, Featured, Forced Displacement and Migration, Nuclear Weapons, Space Security Leave a Comment

…and actions that prevent war and armed violence and build sustainable peace.

Some examples of our activities:

Nuclear disarmament Participation in the second Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, as well as the UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament on International Security; Regular commentary and analysis on relevant developments, including efforts on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the position of the Canadian government on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons; Meetings with government officials, including the Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament, to discuss ways forward on nuclear disarmament. Conventional weapons controls Continued research and analysis of Canada’s multi-billion-dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia;…

Delivering on the Global Compact on Refugees: The need for principled leadership from UNHCR

Sonal Marwah Featured Leave a Comment

…the Libyan coastguard, with EU support, has been intercepting refugees in boats and returning them to that war-torn country. Thousands have been locked up indefinitely in deplorable detention centres in Tripoli.

These actions have been widely criticized by human rights organizations, international humanitarian organizations, civil society, refugees and migrants, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. But the “UNHCR has kept very quiet about the EU’s role in the process of interception, return and detention,” despite the fact that these actions have resulted in repeated refoulement (the forcible return of refugees), which is prohibited in the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol.

Currently, a migrant caravan is travelling from Central America through Mexico to reach the United States….

A call for leadership: New report details security concerns in outer space

Jessica West Leave a Comment

…space exploration and resource extraction by private actors; The emergence of dual-use technologies such as debris removal, satellite servicing, and maneuvering capabilities; Continuing development and demonstration of anti-satellite capabilities; U.S. plans for space-based ballistic missile interceptors that could mark the first deployment of space-based weapons.

There is some good news. The UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) reached consensus on 21 voluntary guidelines to enhance the long-term sustainability of space activities. And as the number of countries and industries with a stake in outer space increases, more of the world’s people are able to benefit from access to space-based data and services. But so, too, does the need for cooperation and regulation.

In the report’s Global

An arms race in outer space? New report raises alarm

Jessica West Featured Leave a Comment

…antisatellite capabilities; Satellite capabilities underpin both tactical and strategic operations for national military forces, causing tensions to escalate; Military strategies in some states include an aggressive use of outer space as a domain of warfare; Few governance mechanisms are being developed to restrict the use of force in outer space; S. plans for space-based ballistic missile interceptors, if developed, would mark the first deployment of space-based weapons.

Some progress in space security was made in 2017. The UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) reached consensus on 21 voluntary guidelines to enhance the long-term sustainability of space activities. However, progress could be undermined by the growing risk of armed conflict.

Space has long been used for passive

The Global Compacts: A Primer

Sonal Marwah Featured Leave a Comment

…formally applied in Africa (Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, and Somalia) and in Central America (Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Panama).

What are the objectives of the Migration Compact?

Each of the following 23 objectives contains a commitment, followed by a range of actions to achieve safe, orderly, and regular migration.

Collect and utilize accurate and disaggregated data as a basis for evidence-based policies; Minimize the adverse drivers and structural factors that compel people to leave their country of origin; Provide accurate and timely information at all stages of migration; Ensure that all migrants have proof of legal identity and adequate documentation; Enhance availability and flexibility of pathways for regular migration; Facilitate fair and ethical recruitment…

The Right to Peace: Space Security

Ploughshares News, Space Security

…Human rights and sustainable development

The international space community gathered from June 18-21 in Vienna, Austria, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first global Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE).

Under the auspices of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the UNISPACE+50 conference emphasized seven thematic priorities related to promoting enhanced international collaboration in outer space, the mobilization of space technology and applications for socioeconomic development, and more effective space governance. Intended as a blueprint for a Space 2030 Agenda on how to better utilize space assets to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, this global summit was clearly focused

Central American migrants face perilous journey

Ploughshares Leave a Comment

to the Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM), approximately 80,500 irregular migrants from Central America were detained in Mexico in 2017. Although official statistics cannot account for all irregular migrants, given their clandestine nature, these numbers help to highlight the violence in the so-called Northern Triangle of Central America, which, according to Amnesty International, has resulted in “one of the world’s most invisible refugee crises.”

Most irregular migrants are fleeing palpable violence in their countries of origin and seek asylum in either Mexico or the United States. They must travel approximately 1,500 kilometres to reach Texas (the shortest route to the United States) and close to 3,500 kilometres to arrive in California. During their arduous journeys through Mexico, they face more…

Inaccessible? Untangling the current U.S. refugee program

Sonal Marwah Leave a Comment

…was sent to the Charlotte Immigration Court, where her claim was rejected.

Ms. A-B- then appealed her case to the Board of Immigration Appeals, which unanimously found that her claim met the requirements for asylum. The case was returned to the judge who was to grant her asylum, in accordance with their decision. Attorney General Sessions unilaterally decided to adjudicate the case himself. He determined that private activity is not grounds for asylum, including in cases of domestic violence. This interpretation goes against advisory opinions from the UN Refugee Agency that victims of domestic violence are potentially members of a “particular social group.”

The regional context

Why so many Central American asylum seekers?

Between 2011 and 2016, 161,742 people from…

Syria: Fractured by war

Ploughshares Leave a Comment

…a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency outpost in Amman. Israel has allegedly supported more than seven different rebel factions. But now, due to Russian diplomacy and U.S. indecisiveness, these states have decided to align with Russia and end their support for opposition groups. They have concluded that Russia, which has heavily invested in the war, is the prime global broker of Syrian affairs and is intent on preserving the Assad regime. This is in stark contrast to the United States, which has shifted its stated priority from toppling Assad to defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Except for Idlib in the northwest and areas controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in eastern Syria, the Assad…