The year is 2033, many Earth Nations have developed colonies and/or research stations on the surface of Mars. The colonization of Mars began with the successful Mars One mission that started its first rover launch in 2022, since then many great powers have launch successful missions to the Red Planet and have created multiple human settlements and research facilities on the surface. With the advancements in technology, humans are able to survive in capsules, and use environmental (evo) suits to walk on the planet’s surface. With this development, international tensions have arisen between some of the great nations as to the security and stability of their settlements. So far, countries haven’t engaged in any significant conflict, but the United States, Russia, China and Israel have all begun transporting military equipment and personnel as a precaution for the safety and security of their interests. With the rising pressure on the great nations, the General Assembly has turned to the United Nations Security Council to develop a solution to the international and interplanetary tension. The Security Council of 2033 is composed of the permanent five members: USA, Russia, China, UK and the most recent member, Brazil, and the ten rotating members: Canada, Jamaica, India, Japan, North Korea, Israel, South Africa, Germany, Serbia and Syria.
The problem being posed to this year’s SC 2033 delegates is, Developing a System of International Security in Space. Your job is to develop a system of international law that can create a framework for future colonization of other extraterrestrial bodies and avoid or mitigate future conflicts during mankind’s journey into outer space. However, there are some established laws that may influence how you make your decision. The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) has put in place some basic framework for international cooperation in outer space affairs and has made resolutions, such as the Guidelines for the Long-Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities to make a basis for international law in space, or space law. Space law is “the body of law governing space-related activities” (UNOOSA Website, Space Law) and is very similar to international law in how it deals with how countries (or planets) interact with one another on the international stage.
Now, since this is the security council, what does colonizing Mars have to do with international peace, you may ask? Now that’s the hard part. When humanity decides to colonize the stars, we will no doubt have conflict between nations, planets, and maybe even another species. When deciding how we will deal with one another in space, you also have to consider what we will do to ensure peace and security. Do we ban the use of weapons in outer space? Do we create an organization that could unite our militaries together? Is there some other solution to maintain peace?
Each country will be receiving a personalized foreign policy document (FPD) which will detail some basic guidelines of how to go about setting your country’s stance on Space Affairs. Having said this, we aren’t going to do your job for you. It is still up to you to figure out what exactly you will do in each situation, and what your country’s current stance is on Space Affairs (it likely won’t change that much in 17 years). The difficulty in your situation is that no one has discussed this topic in this much detail before, so you’re going to be charting unknown territory and need to be prepared to talk about a very serious issue that could potentially happen in the near future.
Delegates, in the wise words of Gene Roddenberry, I encourage you to,
“Boldly go where no one has gone before”
Mars One Website. Available at http://www.mars-one.com/mission/roadmap
Space Programs (2013), Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Available at http://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/space-programs/
UNOOSA Resolution 105/2016, Guidelines for the Long-Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities A/AC.105/2016/CRP.17 (9-17 June 2016) available at http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/documents-and-resolutions/search.jspx
UNOOSA Website, Space Law. Available at http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/spacelaw/index.html