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The Washington Compact Unveiled by the Hague Institute

Ibadan, 8 February 2023. – The Hague Institute for Global Justice has introduced The Washington Compact on Norms of Behavior for Commercial Space Operations, marking a historic milestone for the global space industry. The unveiling happened at the Metropolitan Club, D.C., on 7 February 2023. As a result, 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. Furthermore, the 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.

Speaking on the Compact, Kenneth Hodgkins, Co-Chair of the group that drafted the compact at the Institute, said, “the Washington Compact is the result of two years of continuous drafting and applies a new paradigm in governance for commercial space activities. 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.” Hodgkins added that the Institute believed that to build a peaceful, secure, and just world, humans must utilize space resources in an equitable manner for the benefit of mankind.

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.

In addition, the Institute has submitted a copy of the Washington Compact to the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, supporting the Space2030 Agenda.

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