By Staff Correspondent
Ambassador Bhaskar Balakrishnan who is also a Fellow for Science Diplomacy at Research and Information System (RIS), a New Delhi–based autonomous policy research institute that specialises in issues related to international economic development, trade, investment and technology emphasised the need for international cooperation in space governance during his keynote speech at the DefSat Conference and Expo 2023.
Dr. Balakrishnan pointed out that climate change impacts, space science, and planetary exploration require joint efforts among nations, highlighting India’s willingness to work with international partners. The ambassador also mentioned that India has signed formal cooperative arrangements with 59 countries and four multilateral bodies.
He noted the competition between various space initiatives, including the Artemis Accords and the Sino-Russian lunar agreement, and expressed concerns about the trend towards the militarisation and weaponisation of space through dual-purpose satellites and Anti-satellite (ASAT) development.
The former ambassador highlighted the growth of commercial activities in space, which could drive space cooperation based on shared commercial interests. However, he pointed out that current international space law dictates that any company operating in space falls under the jurisdiction of its home nation’s government, making states the primary rule dictators in space governance.
The distinguished diplomat stressed the importance of joint efforts to tackle space debris, earth orbit space management, planetary defence, and HGV and HCV activity. He urged nations to set aside geopolitical tensions and focus on international cooperation in space governance, emphasising the need to work together to tackle the challenges of space exploration.