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  • Writer's pictureSingapore MUN

Tensions rise as countries discuss demilitarisation in outer space

Hovan Tham

08 June 2022

As the United Nation Disarmament Commission (UNDC) kicked off their second day of debate, one thing did not change from the previous day — the endless verbal warfare. Even with a common consensus to limit Anti-Satellite weapon (ASAT) testing, the council looked to be in chaos and uncertainty.

It was argument after argument after argument, and at the wrong end of all these was none other than Israel. Unwilling to completely give up Anti-Satellite weapons (ASAT) and seemingly looking to send weapons into space, Israel hinted at maintaining its military prowess on fellow Middle Eastern countries. Was it well received? Obviously not.

On the other end of the spectrum was Uganda, whom the council questionably seemed to revolve around. Criticisms, shouting and slamming of the podium were a common trend during Uganda’s speech, and this was not well received, especially with France.

The two parties soon engaged in verbal arguments during their speeches, with France blaming Uganda for affecting council flow, but soon retaliated by Uganda, whose words “focus on actions over words, rather than being a hole in the donut” was more than enough to knock France out.

As the day went on, it seemed that peace was finally found, and delegates could finally come to a common agreement that there would be a restriction placed on ASAT testing and that a governing body would be put in charge in case of any disputes.

With Russia known for its ASAT testing, how will it react to the restrictions planned on ASAT testing as Russia continues to try and impose its military prowess around the world. Will Russia follow the placed restrictions with its known tendency to go against international laws and code of conduct, such as its brutal invasion of Ukraine? Only time will tell.

As the day came to a close, a new chapter began as the issue of using civilian satellites for military purposes was introduced. With the hope to demilitarise outer space, the delegates must strive to achieve a fruitful discussion in the next two days and not repeat the chaos of the previous days.


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