Bloc party in Outer Space

Delegates in the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs have already had a busy day full of compromise and collaboration. Yesterday, delegates worked to form six separate working papers, titled by color names, in order to reach a solution to the problem of space debris. Today, the main focus of committee was joining forces and merging these working papers. The delegation representing the Republic of Korea described the merging process as “insane.”

The first groups to merge were Red and Green, followed by Orange and Yellow and Black and Blue. Finally, the Red/Green paper combined with Orange/Yellow to form the Rainbow paper, while the Black/Blue paper stood on its own. “It’s been really difficult [to merge papers] because every country essentially has similar ideas, but it is hard for people to compromise and change their own writing to include new information from other countries,” noted the delegate representing the Republic of Korea.

At first glance, the Black and Blue paper, (Draft Resolution 1.1) and the Rainbow paper (Draft Resolution 1.2) look very similar. The Black and Blue paper focuses on a four-pronged approach of standardization, transparency, enforcement, and prevention, which is stated in Clause 2 of their draft resolution, while the Rainbow paper focuses on pursuit, protection and prevention.

However, the devil is in the details. “The divisive issue between the two blocs is funding and taxation,” explained the delegate representing Portugal. “I guess Black and Blue just don’t want to join the rainbow,” added the delegate representing Japan.

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