Institute for Earth and Space Exploration White Papers

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The sixtieth session of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) Legal Subcommittee occurred virtually between May 31st, 2021 and June 11th, 2021. The sixtieth session of the Legal Subcommittee included the highly anticipated scheduled informal consultations on “potential legal models for activities in exploration, exploitation and utilization of space resources” (United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs, 2021f, p.2), which concluded with the establishment of a COPUOS Legal Subcommittee Working Group under a five-year workplan (United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs, 2021f, p.33). The establishment of a Legal Subcommittee Working Group on space resource activities emphasizes the growing importance of the issue internationally. Therefore, in this White Paper, I draw upon the previous COPUOS sessions and the recent COPUOS scheduled informal consultations on space resources to analyze the overarching themes within the previous and current COPUOS space resource discussions, in order to identify opportunity areas for the Canadian government to increase its leadership in future space resource discussions and initiatives.


Space Discussions at the UN COPUOS White Paper