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International Space Community Celebrates the Inauguration of The Hague Institute for Global Justice’s Compact on Norms of Behavior for Commercial Space Operations

Today marks a historic milestone for the global space industry as The Hague Institute for Global Justice has introduced The Washington Compact on Norms of Behavior for Commercial Space Operations.

Unveiled at an inaugural ceremony held at The Metropolitan Club, D.C., on 7 February 2023, the Washington Compact demonstrates the international community's commitment to the sustainable commercial use of outer space for the benefit of all humankind.

The signing of the Washington Compact marks a significant step forward in promoting transparency, stability, and responsible behavior in the commercial space sector. The Washington Compact provides a framework for cooperation and responsible behavior among nations, commercial space actors, and other stakeholders, ensuring that the benefits of commercial space activities are realized while minimizing the potential for harmful interference.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by leading experts in the field, and representatives from the commercial space industry. Speaking on the Washington Compact, the President of the Institute, Lady Sohair Salam, said:

“The Washington Compact is the result of two years of continuous drafting and applies a new paradigm in governance for commercial space activities. We believe that in order to build a world that is peaceful, secure and just, we must ensure that space resources are utilized in an equitable manner for the benefit of mankind. With the Institute’s relationship and position in the international forum, the Washington Compact, for the first time in history, articulates nimble, inclusive and sustainable solutions for the global space enterprise.”

Kenneth Hodgkins, Co-Chair of the group that drafted the compact at the Institute, said:

“There has never been anything like the Washington Compact before, yet its need in this moment has never been greater. The Compact represents the next phase in the evolution of international space law, policy and practice. The Institute brought leading legal, business, and technical experts, and civil society leaders from around the world to draft this unprecedented document in an effort to advance the orderly and transparent use of space for the benefit of the global community.”

The Washington Compact's signatories represent a broad range of countries such as the United States, China, Russia, India, and sectors, including private companies and the leading minds of the industry. The international community has demonstrated widespread support for its principles and the benefit it will have on the global nature of commercial space activities.

The Washington Compact on Norms of Behavior for Commercial Space Operations serves as a powerful reminder of the shared responsibility of all nations and commercial actors to ensure the responsible and sustainable use of outer space.

As a permanent observer of the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, the Institute has submitted a copy of the Washington Compact to the Committee, in support of the Space2030 Agenda.







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