General Assembly 4 (SPECPOL) of today’s United Nations conference in Atlanta kicked off with a heated discussion on the development of equitable international claims to land and resources in outer space. The delegate of Finland seeks to place “international restrictions” on both public and private space programs, preventing the ownership of property or land and therefore enabling the extraction of resources from anywhere in space by anyone. Due to uneven access to these resources, while they are still outside of Earth’s atmosphere, Finland has expressed an interest in extracting resources and distributing them once they have landed so as to provide less wealthy and technologically advanced nations with equal opportunity access to these resources. A major point of conversation has been this distribution, with larger, wealthy nations arguing for proportional shares while others continue to champion equitable shares of resources.
Additionally, weapons programs have been a point of contention amongst delegates. While Vietnam has expressed an interest in planting missiles and other such long-range projectiles in space for planetary defense from asteroids, such allowances would enable offensive measures to be enacted with no repercussions. The Finnish delegate has opted to support a demilitarized outer space in the interest of preventing unfair advantages in interstate warfare, arguing for a complete prohibition of weapons systems from being placed in Earth’s orbit. Finland has one ultimate goal at the conference: ensuring peace and neutrality in space and at home.