State dept to revise space law? (fwd)

Larry Klaes (
Thu, 04 Nov 1999 16:26:38 -0500

Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1999 16:19:00 -0500 (EST) Reply-To: fpspace@SOLAR.RTD.UTK.EDU
Sender: fpspace@SOLAR.RTD.UTK.EDU
From: Joanne Gabrynowicz <> To: Multiple recipients of list <fpspace@SOLAR.RTD.UTK.EDU> Subject: Re: State dept to revise space law? (fwd) X-Comment: Friends and Partners in Space


Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz
Professor, Space Law & Policy

Remote Sensing Law & Policy     
Space Studies Department       	

University of North Dakota

Date: Thu, 04 Nov 1999 15:41:12 -0500


Kenneth C. Brill Acting Assistant Secretary

Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs U.S.

Department of State, on behalf of the Secretary of State

<paraindent><param>left</param>REMARKS TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE


Kenneth C. Brill

Acting Assistant Secretary

Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs

U.S. Department of State

Reagan International Trade Center

Washington, D.C.

November 2, 1999

Good evening. Secretary Albright had very much wanted to be with you, but she is with the President in Oslo, where the long quest for peace in the Middle East is being pursued with renewed hope and urgency. She has asked me to represent the Department of State in her absence, and to extend to you all a warm welcome to Washington for this important and exciting conference. It is my great pleasure to do so.




The well known writer Arthur Clarke once said that although it is true that Earth is the cradle of humanity, we cannot remain in our cradle forever. This first-ever global conference for the business of space demonstrates that we have moved beyond exploratory steps outside the cradle and are striding ahead with strength and confidence to exploit the enormous economic and scientific potential of space.

Space activities touch the lives of ordinary citizens as never before, not just in the United States, but around the world. Satellite dishes pull down hundreds of channels of television programming in Central America. GPS receivers guide millions of motorists in Japan. Programs beamed by satellite to remote villages in India help farmers improve their productivity. And ever more sophisticated satellite networks are being developed to track weather patterns on a global basis.


State Department's Role


We at the State Department are not isolated from these exciting developments. We are not a so-called "technical agency," and so far no one has designed

pin-striped space suits. But we have an intense interest in the latest developments in space exploration, space technology, and space commerce.


Let me review briefly the role of the Department of State in the space arena as a consumer, facilitator, and promoter.

The Department is a big consumer of space products and services. We use satellites for instantaneous communication with our more than 200 embassies and consulates overseas. We use remote sensing imagery and the Global Positioning System to mediate border disputes, monitor refugee flows and human rights abuses, and respond to natural disasters.

Many of the global issues facing us today can only be dealt with if we understand their scientific underpinnings. Indeed, the National Research Council, in its recent report on "Science at State," concluded that science and technology have moved to the forefront of the international diplomatic agenda. As a result, good diplomacy is becoming more dependent on good science.

Information from space-based instruments is central to the good science we try to bring to bear on global issues. Ozone depletion, deforestation, fish conservation, coral reef degradation, climate change and its consequences--these are but a few of the areas where we rely heavily on scientific analysis of data from space to inform our decision making and build international consensus.

In addition to consuming space-based services and space-derived information, the State Department has a significant role to play in facilitating space cooperation. Space activities and issues are inherently international, and the State Department has the statutory responsibility of providing leadership within the US government on foreign policy matters. Today, our role as facilitator is vastly more complicated

than it was two decades ago. With the end of the Cold War, cooperative ventures that would have been unthinkable twenty years ago have become commonplace. From Sputnik to the International Space Station, competition in space has become collaboration in space. Moreover, space activities are no longer monopolized by a handful of governments. Commercial spending on space


now exceeds government spending, and at least fifty countries have space programs of some sort. In July, 100 countries sent delegates to the United Nations' Third Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna, a clear indication of the expanding interest in using space to improve lives on Earth.

The State Department also works hard to promote the interests of the American aerospace industry. Maintaining leadership in space has long been a foreign policy objective of the United States. In today's arena, "space leadership" and "aerospace industry leadership" are becoming almost synonymous. We recognize and appreciate the major contribution that the aerospace sector makes to US export earnings. We want to do what we can to ensure that American companies remain at the cutting edge of space technology and that they compete on a level playing field.

With that general overview of how and why the State Department is interested in space, let me turn to some projects and issues that are of particular interest to us.


International Space Station


The first project I would like to mention is the International Space Station. We worked closely with NASA during the 1980s to create a partnership with Japan, Canada, and nine members of the European Space Agency to build an International Space Station. We were just as active in the 1990s in expanding the program to include Russia and, more recently, Brazil. Space cooperation is hard work; national space objectives have to be melded with foreign policy objectives, and US programmatic requirements have to be tailored to meet those of potential partners. But the International Space Station illustrates that it is possible to carry out even the largest, most complex space programs on a cooperative basis. We are convinced that uniting the world's major space powers in this monumental, peaceful use of outer space will pay long-term dividends.



Global Positioning System


Another area of special interest is satellite-based navigation. The President's 1996 policy directive on the Global Positioning System gave the State Department the task of consulting with other countries and international organizations to promote GPS as a worldwide standard for global navigation. We achieved a breakthrough last year with Japan, the world's largest user of GPS consumer products, when President Clinton and Prime Minister Obuchi issued a Joint Statement on GPS Cooperation. Our attention currently is focused on Europe. The Europeans have announced plans to build a global navigation satellite system of their own, known as Galileo. We will begin later this month an important dialogue with the European Union aimed at ensuring that Galileo, if built, will be fully compatible and interoperable with GPS.


Remote Sensing


We also spend a lot of time thinking about and dealing with remote sensing issues. International cooperation on earth observation satellites is already remarkably extensive. Some of you may already be familiar with CEOS, the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites. CEOS is an informal but very active mechanism through which space agencies from around the world coordinate separate missions to study and monitor global phenomena. These missions provide crucial data for a myriad of purposes, including monitoring international environmental agreements. We work very closely with NASA and NOAA to facilitate earth observation projects involving satellites or instruments from two or more countries.

In this field, as in others, we also try to stay alert for ways to promote innovative approaches to solving problems that transcend national boundaries. One exciting example is a project we are trying to get started called Peace Wing. Many of you are aware that NASA has an Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology program (ERAST). As a part of this program,


NASA is testing a remarkable new kind of aircraft--remote-controlled, solar-powered, high altitude platforms that can stay aloft for months at a time.. These airborne platforms have unique potential for extending telecommunications and remote sensing to the most isolated parts of the world. Through Peace Wing, we hope to promote a variety of international applications for the ERAST aircraft, such as natural disaster prediction, monitoring, and relief.

It is clear that the technology available for earth observation continues to advance at a rapid pace. Equally significant, it is no longer limited to government agencies. We are very excited about the recent successful launch of the IKONOS satellite, the first commercial system to acquire and market imagery down to one-meter resolution. At the same time, we are mindful that the emergence of a high-resolution commercial remote sensing industry raises serious questions regarding national security and privacy.

For remote sensing activities, as for most space activities, our policies must carefully balance foreign policy and national security concerns with commercial

interests. We need to continue to ensure that space cooperation does not inadvertently result in missile proliferation or unwarranted technology transfer. The fact remains that the same technologies used for commercial space launches can also be used to develop ballistic missiles. We have a common interest in ensuring that such technologies do not fall into the wrong hands.


<bold>International Legal Regime for Space


The last issue I would like to mention concerns the international legal regime for space activities. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space developed the Outer Space Treaty and three related United Nations conventions, which serve as the bedrock of international space law. This was an example of multilateral diplomacy at its best; the international rules that were created afford a measure of transparency and accountability for space


activities, without constraining national programs. But this body of law was developed during an era when nearly all space activities were carried out by governments. We need to begin thinking about whether it is adequate for the coming era of space commercialization--an era in which entrepreneurs may seek to earn a profit from activities such as space tourism, mining of asteroids, or waste disposal in space. It is not too early for government and industry to begin a dialogue on whether some modest additions to the current body of international space law would be appropriate.


Leadership Requires Resources


The challenging space agenda of the new millenium demands effective leadership. In the international arena, the Department of State stands ready to provide that leadership. It is painfully clear, however, that we lack the resources we need to address the wide array of global, science-related issues that face us today. We are well aware, for example, that the average time it takes to process licenses for space technology exports has increased, and that this sometimes hurts US businesses. This stems not from any lack of will or

motivation on the State Department's part, but very simply from a lack of resources.

The plain fact of the matter is that the resources for most of the State Department's day-to-day activities have been cut to the bone in recent years.. If America is to retain its leadership in new areas like space, as well as in traditional areas like brokering peace agreements between age-old antagonists in the Middle East or Ireland, we need resources to do the job. Talk is cheap; results take resources.

In closing, let me say that the State Department applauds and congratulates the organizers of this first global conference for the business of space. We join you in being proud of America's past accomplishments in space and excited about the unlimited possibilities of


the future. I know I speak for Secretary Albright when I say the Department of State stands ready to work closely with America's space community to maintain America's leading position in space.

Thank you.