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Belgium Becomes Latest Signatory to the Artemis Accords

Artemis
Belgium joins Artemis missions to the moon. Credit: NASA

Ibadan, 24 January 2024. – Belgium has become the latest country to append its signature to the Artemis Accords, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hadja Lahbib, and the Secretary of State for Science Policy, Thomas Dermine, signing the accords yesterday, 23rd of January 2024.

As a State participating in and contributing to European and international space exploration programs, in particular the Artemis program, Belgium considers the Artemis Agreements to be an important political instrument, guiding the activities of the signatory States and their non-governmental actors in the exploration of outer space, and in full compliance with existing international law, in particular, the provisions of the 1967 United Nations Outer Space Treaty.

Furthermore, Belgium’s signature of the Artemis Accords is part of its proactive participation in the work of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS). As a party to the five United Nations treaties on outer space, Belgium, in close collaboration with other Member States, has launched several actions within the Committee over the past decade to promote the establishment of an international multilateral legal framework for equitable access to and benefits from space resources, as well as for the safe and sustainable use of these resources.

Speaking on the signature, Hadja Lahbib commented, “Belgium has always had its feet on the ground and its head in the stars. Our country is one of the world leaders in space exploration. The signing of the Artemis Accords reflects our ongoing commitment to sustainable and responsible space and will strengthen our ties with international partners. It will also open up new economic opportunities for our companies, which have world-renowned expertise in the space sector.”

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