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The decision process for the international regime does not require unanimous agreement by all members of UN COPUOS . This could work very well to develop a body of space law that meets U.S. long term interests and global responsibilities. The Artemis Accords are fuly compatible with the Moon Treaty.
I agree fully with Dennis O'Brien - Don't mess with the OST! That said OST does not address a broad range of issues whose numbers grow by the day. From that point of view the genius of the Moon Treaty is clear.
First, the detailed rules and procedures to govern use of outer space resources are a matter to be addressed in the international regime to be negotiated when use of outer space resources becomes feasible. The international regime in principle could address space security issues relating to governance of outer space resources.
Second, the Moon Treaty itself provides for regular check ups (Article 18) as well as a relatively simple process to modify the treaty itself based on technological changes without the unanimous agreement of COPUOS or the UN General Assembly. (Article 17).
An effective move for the Biden administration would be to ) sign the Moon Treaty and cancel Trump's Executive Order of April 6, 2020 and 2) call for a UN Security Council Summit on outer space security in an era when the industrial development of the Moon is becoming feasible. Large scale industrial activity on the Moon will place great demands on outer space security vastly beyond concerns to safeguard vital space assets of the U.S. and other major economies. The issues need to be addressed now. A summit could plausibly lead to well established measures to change OST itself. Needed is a framework within which all states can readily operate. The Moon Treaty was unanimously approved by COPUOS and the General Assembly in 1979. There would be no barriers to prevent China to join with the U.S. and other spacefaring countries to engage in substantive discussions to build a rules-based order for the development of the space economy that is emerging.
The U.S., EU, India, Japan, Korea, China, Russia and other countries need to strengthen the international system not weaken it. At present there is only one active pandemic - COVID but a few years ago ebola, Zika virus and sars were concurrently active, but under control. It is vitally important that the U.S. reaffirm and strengthen its membership in WHO as well as participate in the Climate Change Agreement and reaffirm JCPOA. The U.S. Space Force is vitally important to protect U.S. space interests, but the space force is not incompatible with a rules-based order. A stable rules based order needs enforcement and corrective capacity built in. That is the challenge ahead, not to hide from international leadership but rather to seize it as an opportunity. President Biden should sign the Moon Treaty on his first day in office.
(d) An equitable sharing by all States Parties in the benefits derived from those resources, whereby the interests and needs of the developing countries, as well as the efforts of those countries which have contributed either directly or indirectly to the exploration of the moon, shall be given special consideration. In principle, outer space could be exploited by a future trillionaire and his followers ignoring humankind itself. Giving unfettered greed legal sanction does not appear to be feasible in plausible future scenarios. Which country would sacrifice its national treasure to benefit a small group of individuals excluding all others?
Space resources can be used to enabled sustainable development for humankind for centuries to come enabling adventurous individuals and groups to become wealthy beyond measure even if the national and international support for such initiatives is aimed at benefiting humankind as a whole.
Space technology and space resources can play a major role in mitigating climate change thereby benefiting developing countries without diminishing the wealth creating capacity of the adventurous individuals that choose to risk their own wealth to make space development possible. It is a very 21st century idea!
Kennedy's 1963 UN speech needs to be seen and heard in full to better understand his proposal for collaboration.in outer space. www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1C7FVbUHXY . The speech presented an array of U.S. problems and called for U.S. moral leadership to address those problems in effect challenging the U.S. to address poverty and civil rights as well as to provide global leadership to prevent nuclear war. I believe Kennedy was not overly concerned about cost savings thru cooperation. His overriding objective was to prevent nuclear war with the Soviet Union.
President Biden may have a similar opportunity with China to present the possibility for cooperation on a grand challenge while building the framework for rules-based competition on Earth as well as in outer space.
The concept of the common heritage of mankind was introduced into the Moon Treaty at the insistence of the U.S. over the objections of the USSR. If the opponents of the Moon Treaty in 1980 had bothered to talk with Neil Hosenball they would have understood the reasons why this was done. One result of the inclusion of the language was that COPUOS members and subsequently the UN General Assembly approved of the Moon Treaty with no dissenting votes. Another result was left to current generation to resolve. What does the common heritage of mankind mean when referring to limitless expanse of outer space?
My interpretation is that it provides a link between Article I of OST and the exploitation of lunar and other outer space resources, which it is the key starting paragraph of Article 11 of the Moon Treaty that addresses exploitation of lunar resources in a manner that satisfies OST. Article I:
<<The exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind.>>
All mankind means all not just those on Earth and would include mankind living on Mars or the Moon.or wherever.
Given that a rules based order is negotiated to govern use of lunar resources commercial activity can flourish free of the threat of expropriation and seizure by military forces. Given such legal certainty and economic feasibility of lunar mining and manufacturing explosive economic growth would become possible.
The principles stated in Article 11., par. 7 a,b,c and d place no requirement on mining companies on the Moon to transfer technology or share anything from their mining activity with developing countries. There is no requirement declared for a UN bureaucracy to administer activities on the Moon. The rules and procedures to govern lunar activities would emerge as the activity becomes economically feasible and be determined by the parties to the Treaty that negotiate the rules, rather than the UN setting the rules.
If the U.S. chose it could still have a leadership role as a signatory and party to the Moon Treaty to develop the rules to govern lunar development. Work done on the Artemis Accords could become a building block of the international regime called for by the Moon
Treaty. The overwhelming advantage is that that whatever would be negotiated would become international law. The Artemis Accords are agreements between space agencies and not between sovereign states. I suspect that Neil Hosenball anticipated such interagency agreements as steps leading to the demonstration of the economic feasibility of exploitation of lunar resources, which is a pre-condition for the negotiation of the rules that become international law.
China is an adversary of the U.S. The challenge to to shape a rules-based order under which the countries can compete without resorting to war and cooperate to address threats to all countries. That is where the U.S. and China could both benefit from the Moon Treaty because it provides a process where all spacefaring countries can negotiate rules to govern their activities in outer space. China can become a party to the Moon Treaty as can the U.S. China is unlikely to sign the Artemis Accords because they are a U.S. project setting U.S. standards rather than an internationally negotiated set of rules and procedures as called for in the Moon Treaty.