February 22, 2024
Space

Belgium becomes the newest Artemis Accords signatory

Agreement signed in Brussels this week

Belgium has become the 34th country to sign the Artemis Accords. The accords establish principles to guide space exploration cooperation among nations, including those participating in NASA’s Artemis campaign.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said: “Congratulations to Belgium on becoming the newest member of the Artemis Accords family. Countries around the world understand the opportunity that space presents. As the 34th signatory of the Artemis Accords, Belgium is showing great leadership in committing to responsible exploration in the 21st century.”

Hadja Lahbib, Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Affairs and Foreign Trade, and the federal cultural institutions, and Thomas Dermine, State Secretary for Economic Recovery and Strategic Investments, in charge of science policy, signed the agreement during a ceremony at the Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels on January 22, 2024.

“Joining the Artemis Accords reflects our logic of cooperation and enables Belgium to join the working group of states that have already signed,” said Dermine.

“Belgium always has its feet on the ground and its head in the stars,” said Lahbib.

“Our country is one of the world leaders in space exploration. The signing of the Artemis Accords shows our ongoing commitment to sustainable and responsible space and will strengthen ties with international partners. It will also open new economic opportunities for our companies, which have world-renowned expertise in the space sector.”

7 original signatories

In coordination with the US Department of State, NASA established the Artemis Accords in 2020 with seven other original signatories.

Since then, the Accords signatories have held focused discussions on implementing the Artemis Accords principles.

The Artemis Accords reinforce and implement critical obligations in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. They also strengthen the commitment by the United States and signatory nations to the Registration Convention and the Rescue and Return Agreement, as well as best practices and norms of responsible behaviour NASA and its partners have supported, including the public release of scientific data.

More countries are expected to sign the accords in the months and years ahead, essential to advancing safe, peaceful, and prosperous activities in space.

Featured image: L-R: Tim Richardson, chargé d’affaires, US Embassy Belgium; Raphaël Liégeois, Belgian astronaut; Thomas Dermine, Belgian secretary of state for science policy; Hadja Lahbib, Belgian minister of foreign affairs, and Frank De Winne, Belgian astronaut, during the Artemis Accords signing ceremony in Brussels. Image: Nathan De Fortunato

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, space, aerospace, aviation, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, fashion, and automotive verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally and protecting the world’s oceans from plastic pollution, overfishing, and climate change. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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