Publications Search

Advanced Search

All publications from 2011 onwards are currently searchable using the Search Bar above.

Developing norms for enhanced security in outer space: Process and priorities

May 12, 2022

This document reflects research and analysis conducted by Project Ploughshares Senior Researcher Dr. Jessica West and Gilles Doucet of Spectrum Space Security on how the existing normative framework in outer space can serve as a basis for informing the development of additional norms of behaviour for security-related activities.

Regulating new tools of warfare: Insights from humanitarian disarmament and arms control efforts

March 24, 2022

As the tools and methods of warfare continue to evolve, it is critical that arms control, disarmament, and normative regimes also advance. Warfighting applications of today’s emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), outer space, and cyber capabilities are becoming more apparent andhold enormous potential for expansion if left unregulated. Such capabilities clearly have the potential to be used in harming civilians, violating international humanitarian law, and creating unpredictable and even unintended escalation of conflict. In this context, compliance with existing arms control measures and humanitarian principles is essential. Yet new arms control frameworks are also needed to mitigate these risks and maintain global commitments to disarmament.

Norms for Outer Space: A Small Step or a Giant Leap for Policymaking?

March 18, 2022

Space is increasingly critical to modern life on Earth. But there is growing concern that, as it becomes more economically and strategically important, tensions between different space actors are heightening in a manner that could lead to conflict. The accelerating proliferation of counterspace capabilities, as well as the enactment of national policies that deem space an operational or warfighting domain, underlines the very real nature of threats that exist and highlights the importance of keeping space peaceful.

The Ploughshares Monitor: Spring 2022

March 15, 2022

Volume 43 Issue 1 A quarterly publication of Project Ploughshares Please click on attachment to view document:

Arms control in outer space: Status, timeline, and analysis

March 14, 2022

Contrary to popular imagination, outer space is not a “Wild, Wild West” of lawlessness. Human activities in outer space are governed by international law, including the United Nations Charter, international humanitarian law (IHL), and, most critically, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty (OST), which sets out broad principles on how states are to conduct themselves in this domain, including commitments to registration, due regard, responsibility, liability, and non-contamination.

Statement on Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

February 24, 2022

Russia’s illegal military incursion into Ukraine poses a grave threat to international security, undermines the rules-based international order, and endangers the lives of millions of civilians. It also risks escalating into a wider conflict, with devastating consequences in Europe and beyond.

What kinetic ASAT testing tells us about space security governance

February 17, 2022

The testing of kinetic anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons and the debris that they produce are currently garnering global attention and concern. This is partly because of the November 2021 ASAT test conducted by Russia; partly because of our expanding use and dependence on outer space; and partly because of the accelerating development, testing, and demonstration of kinetic ASAT capabilities.

On Canada’s provision of arms to Ukraine

February 15, 2022

On Monday, February 14, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Canadian officials had authorized $7.8-million worth of arms transfers, described as “lethal equipment and ammunition” to Ukraine. The transfers are to include “machine guns, pistols, carbines, 1.5 million rounds of ammunition, sniper rifles, and various related equipment.”

Restoring Canada’s arms control and disarmament credentials

January 27, 2022

More than a year and a half after Canada’s unsuccessful run for a seat on the UN Security Council, shortcomings in Ottawa’s arms control and disarmament agenda remain prominent. As the international community continues to face multiple, overlapping security challenges at the start of 2022, the federal Cabinet installed last October has a fresh opportunity to take stock of Canada’s foreign policy priorities.

Open Letter to the Prime Minister: Ongoing Weapons Exports to Saudi Arabia

December 13, 2021

The undersigned, representing a cross-section of Canadian labour, arms controls, antiwar, human rights, international security, and other civil society organizations, are writing to reiterate our continued opposition to your government’s issuance of arms exports permits for weapons destined to Saudi Arabia. We write today adding to the letters of March 2019, August 2019, April 2020 and September 2020 in which several of our organizations raised concerns about the serious ethical, legal, human rights and humanitarian implications of Canada’s ongoing transfer of weapons to Saudi Arabia. We regret that, to date, we have received no response to these concerns from you or the relevant Cabinet ministers on the matter. Critically, we regret that Canada finds itself in violation of its international arms control agreements.

The risk of diversion in the arms transfer cycle: 3 factors to consider

December 9, 2021

Under the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), special care must be taken to ensure that arms exports are not diverted from their intended use or user. Yet intentional and unintentional instances of diversion remain common and constitute a key challenge to the ATT regime.

The Ploughshares Monitor: Winter 2021

November 29, 2021

The Winter 2021 issue of Project Ploughshares quarterly publication.

Spread the Word