Space Governance

“Although some may think space is ungoverned, there are in fact a number of existing international treaties that provide a legal framework. The United Nations plays a significant role in the governance of space activities and the negotiation and adoption of international treaties and other agreements on space, but there are other bodies that play a role as well. […] The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is composed of 193 Member States (as of 2012). Six permanent committees help the UNGA manage its work on global issues; for space matters, two committees are especially important. The First Committee deals with disarmament and security matters and the Fourth Committee focuses on special political matters, including outer space. The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) is the UN body responsible for developing policies related to outer space on behalf of the UN Member States. It does not deal with military space issues. COPUOS reports each year to the UNGA via the Fourth Committee.

The Office of Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) is the secretariat for COPUOS and carries out COPUOS policies as part of the larger UN Secretariat. The Conference on Disarmament (CD), which is not a UN organization but works under the UN auspices, is the international forum for work on disarmament, and therefore the body responsible for matters related to weapons in space and other space security issues. The CD reports its annual findings to the UNGA via the First Committee.” (Secure World Foundation, 2013)


"International Governance of Space Activities". Secure World Foundation, Secure World Foundation. Last modified August 1, 2013.….
Accessed February 14, 2019.


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