ACBAR Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief ANC African National Congress AP Action Plan ATT Arms Trade Treaty CCIC Canadian Council for International Co-operation CCRP Chestermere Crime Reduction Partnership CD Conference on Disarmament CPA Comprehensive Peace Agreement (Sudan) GOSS Government of Southern Sudan IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency IGAD Intergovernmental Authority on Development NGO Nongovernmental organization NPT Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons NWC Nuclear weapons convention PAROS Prevention of an arms race in outer space PMI Peace Management Initiative PPWT
Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects START Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force
What, then, makes the PPWT proposal worthy of serious consideration by the international community?
Specifically, as implied in the name of the treaty, the PPWT seeks to ban two different yet interrelated conducts:
The PPWT treaty defines weapon in outer space in a thorough and comprehensive manner as:
Thus, it seems apparent that the framers of the PPWT strove to minimize the room for ambiguity and interpretation with regard to the conditions under which a device in space can be considered a weapon.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to the adoption of the PPWT has been the staunch US opposition--to the draft treaty in particular and to any legal measure designed to restrict its options in space.
It is highly unlikely that the PPWT draft treaty will ever see the light of day as a binding multilateral legal instrument unless the recalcitrant US position is somehow moderated.
The proponents of the PPWT, Russia and China, have argued that while such a ban was omitted because such activities cannot be readily verified, the PPWT "does prohibit the use of such systems against space objects for hostile purposes" (CD 2009, p.
If so, then some might argue that the PPWT lacks a provision for instances when there may be a legitimate need to strike one's own satellite.
To be sure, there are other points where the PPWT lacks precision, has potential loopholes, or is subject to interpretation.
The PPWT could stand in the way of that dangerous possibility and should be afforded the attention it deserves, so that space can be preserved as a peaceful global commons.