Development cooperation and humanitarian affairs Minister Paulette Lenert, co-signed the agreement with United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs director Simonetta Di Pippo to launch the Space Law for New Space Actors project during the first day of the 2019 Newspace Europe conference hosted in Luxembourg on November 13.

Di Pippo explained that the project takes a bottom up approach, offering signatory UN member states tailored capacity building to draft national space legislation and space policies that are in-line with international space law and promote long-term sustainability of activities in space.

“This will help nations to muster national regulatory framework and to ensure responsible behaviour in space activities,” Di Pippo said during her keynote speech on Wednesday, adding that responsible behaviour in outer space was “key for unlocking the potential of the sector.”

There are already some five UN treaties related to space activities and Di Pippo explained that in June the committee for the peaceful use of outer space, which currently boasts 95 members out of 193 member states, approved the preamble of 21 guideline for long-term sustainability in outer space activities, related to areas including space debris and defence, among others. She explained that another working group is also looking at the long-term sustainability guidelines. Luxembourg is the first country to align its support behind a UN initiative for sustainability in space, pledging €500,000 for the project over two years.