When astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon on July 20th 1969, they announced to come in peace, on behalf of all humankind. Two years before, the Outer Space Treaty (OST) had consecrated outer space as a shared area beyond national jurisdictions, to be peacefully explored and used for the benefit and in the interest of all countries. Half a century later, humanity is about to go back – or, as some say, forward – to the Moon. This time we want to establish a sustainable presence and develop a lunar economy that can bootstrap a new era of more accessible and ambitious space exploration. However, to this day there are no international mechanisms to coordinate the increasing flurry of planned lunar activities. Notwithstanding the goodwill of all involved actors, this deficiency inherently brings a risk for conflicts on a scale that could seriously compromise humanity’s future on the Moon.
At Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), as the voice of the young generations at the United Nations, we find this risk unacceptable. Like the enactment of the OST anticipated the historical landing of the Apollo 11 astronauts, we believe that this new phase of lunar activities should be preceded by an international instrument that could ensure their inclusive, adaptive and effective governance. Determined to take action, in June 2020 SGAC established a dedicated group to work on the development of Effective and Adaptive Governance for a Lunar Ecosystem: the EAGLE Action Team. We the Eagles are 14 scientists, engineers, lawyers, policy analysts, and more, with representation from 10 countries and one shared goal: the peaceful and sustainable development of the Moon.
For one year, at the EAGLE Team, we worked to assess the current lunar policy landscape and develop a Report that can express the ideas and proposals of the young generations. During this time, we met with 21 stakeholders representing all segments of the space community and studied the various policy proposals developed by both States and private organisations.
After having listened to the voices of the space community, the time has come to express our own. On the 11th of May 2021, the EAGLE Team will release the results of this intense work: a Lunar Governance Report, accompanied by an Executive Summary, and a Lunar Manifesto. Mindful of the benefits of plurality, we would like for our voice to help synchronise all the others, turning the current cacophony into a harmonious choir.
As the representatives of the young generations at the United Nations, we are calling the space community to action. We want to seal a global, multistakeholder and intergenerational pact for the peaceful and sustainable development of the Moon through the enactment of a new international instrument that can ensure its inclusive, adaptive and effective governance. In a time when all of us need to decide, where do we want to stand, we hope that you will positively respond to our call and join a shared narrative of peace, accessibility, prosperity and sustainability.
On behalf of the EAGLE Team