US government releases Strategic Framework for Space Diplomacy

The US Department of State has released the country’s first Strategic Framework for Space Diplomacy, dedicated to advancing ‘US global space leadership’, expanding international cooperation on space activities while promoting responsible behaviour from space actors.

The framework outlines actions for the Department of State to undertake across three main areas:

  • Diplomacy for space: Advancing space policy for the benefit of future generations. The envisioned actions are aimed to advance US space policy and programmes internationally through bilateral and multilateral engagement and cooperation. Such cooperation would focus on issues related to safe and responsible space activities – including space exploration and commerce – and the reduction of potential for conflict in space.
  • Space for diplomacy: Leveraging US space activities for wider diplomatic goals. The goals here are to strengthen international cooperation in the use of satellite applications, remote sensing satellite imagery, and space-derived data to help address societal challenges and advance US foreign policy objectives. 
  • Empowering the Department workforce on space diplomacy. The Department of State plans to ensure that its personnel has the tools and knowledge required to pursue space-related policy and programmatic objectives.

Also tackled in the framework is the need to strengthen the global governance of outer space activities. The document notes that the norms, principles, and best practices that guide outer space activities need to evolve in order to promote responsible stewardship of the outer space environment and maximise the benefits of the space economy for current and future generations. As such, the USA intends to promote space safety and security cooperation, pursue bilateral and multilateral exchanges, transparency, and confidence-building measures, and encourage responsible behaviour by space actors.