The Moon Agreement: A Brief Overview for UPSC Aspirants
The Moon, Earth`s natural satellite, has been a topic of interest for humans since ancient times. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in exploring the Moon, and several countries, including the United States, China, and India, have sent missions to the Moon to study its geology and resources.
However, as the interest in the Moon grows, so do concerns about its exploitation. To address these concerns, the United Nations General Assembly passed the “Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies,” also known as the Moon Agreement, in 1979.
The Moon Agreement aims to regulate the exploration and use of the Moon and other celestial bodies, and to ensure that these activities are carried out for the benefit of all mankind. It recognizes the Moon as a common heritage of mankind, and prohibits any country or individual from claiming ownership of any part of it.
The Moon Agreement also sets out guidelines for the use of the Moon`s resources, including minerals and water. It requires that these resources be used for the benefit of all mankind, and that their exploitation should not cause any harmful interference with the environment of the Moon or Earth.
Despite its importance, the Moon Agreement has not been widely adopted by countries. As of 2021, only 18 countries have signed the agreement, and only a handful have ratified it.
One of the reasons for this lack of adoption is the perception that the Moon Agreement restricts the ability of countries to exploit the Moon`s resources for their own benefit. Some countries, including the United States, have chosen not to sign the agreement, arguing that it is incompatible with their national interests.
In conclusion, the Moon Agreement is an important international treaty that seeks to regulate the exploration and use of the Moon and other celestial bodies. Aspirants preparing for the UPSC exam should be aware of its provisions and implications, as it may be a topic of future debates and discussions on space policy.