UNIDIR/SWF Informal Consultation Group: Implications of the Commercialization of Military Space Services

When: Thursday, October 24, 2019

Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Where: The Evening Star Building, 1101 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC

The UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and Secure World Foundation (SWF) are convening an informal consultation group (ICG) to analyse the implications of the commercialisation of military space services from a variety of perspectives. To do this, UNIDIR and SWF have invited experts from diverse space communities (including governmental, commercial, and academic experts) to exchange views and opinions on what challenges are or are not being addressed.

The ICG will consist of 30-35 experts in a round-table discussion, to be co-moderated by UNIDIR and SWF. Based on the discussions of the ICG, UNIDIR and SWF will produce a list of issues and concerns that could be considered by both governments and commercial actors engaging in outsourcing for military space services. This document will serve as the basis for a wider discussion to be held among the space and security communities. The data and insights gathered at the consultation will also inform UNIDIR’s research in this area.


  • 930h: Registration/Coffee
  • 10h: Opening of the meeting
    • Welcome remarks by Victoria Samson, Secure World Foundation
  • 1015: Threats to space systems
    • Moderator of session: Victoria Samson, Secure World Foundation
    • Presentation - Counterspace Capabilities (Brian Weeden, Secure World Foundation)
  • 11h: Legal implications
    • Moderator of session: Daniel Porras, UNIDIR
    • Presentation – Legal Implications (Chris Newman, University of North Umbria)
  • 1145: Closing Remarks by Daniel Porras, UNIDIR

Some questions to be answered:

  • Are commercial actors aware of emerging threats to space systems? If so, do they have measures for addressing these? If not, why not?
  • Is there any change to the legal status of commercial satellites servicing military providers, and what are the implications?
  • What are government policies towards commercial actors that experience foreign interference?

Membership in the ICG is by invitation only and will be conducted under the Chatham House Rule. If you have any questions about this event, please contact Washington Office Director Victoria Samson

Last updated on October 9, 2019