Geeky space politics thing


Questions from parliamentarians, journalists and citizens welcome

On September 14 the US Congress will be the scene for a new departure in international politics. A group of democratically elected legislators from ten countries will hold a joint parliamentary hearing, webcast live to enable participation from other legislators, journalists and citizens worldwide.

The hearing will focus on the future of outer space, and in particular on the possible deployment of weapons in space. The use of space weapons is under consideration by the US Air Force and is becoming controversial.
Proponents see such weapons as essential to protect satellites. Critics argue that space-based weapons could also be used offensively, and could trigger a new arms race in space.

According to the organisers, this will be the first of many international parliamentary hearings on different issues to be organised by the e-Parliament, a new global forum made up of democratic lawmakers. The aim of the e-Parliament is to enable legislators to form international networks on issues of common interest, and to help spread and implement innovative policy ideas.

Participants in the Washington hearing represent differing viewpoints, and include several members of the US House Armed Services Committee, as well as the Chairs of Foreign Affairs and Defense Committees, or other leading
legislators, from the parliaments of Australia, Brazil, Britain, Denmark, the European Parliament, Ghana, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Norway.

Experts presenting to the legislators will include: Ambassador Henry Cooper, former Director of the US Strategic Defense Initiative Organization; Prof. Everett Dolman of the US Air Force; Theresa Hitchens of the Center for Defense Information; and Rebecca Johnson of the Acronym Institute.

PANEL OF LEGISLATORS INCLUDES: Lyn Allison, Leader of Australian Democrat Party; Dr. Kwame Ampofo MP, Ghana; Aroldo Cedraz, Chair, External Relations and Defence Committee, Brazilian Chamber of Deputies; Congressman Terry Everett, USA; Air Marshal Lord Garden, Defence Spokesman, Liberal Democrat Party, British House of Lords; Ana Maria Gomes MEP, Vice-Chair, Subcommittee on Security and Defence, European Parliament; Bjørn Hernæs, Vice-Chair of the Defence Committee, Norway; Senator Silvia Hernández, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee, Mexico; Jakob Axel Nielsen, Denmark; Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, USA; Gustavo Selva, Chair, Foreign Affairs Committee, Chamber of Deputies, Italy; Congressman Mac Thornberry, USA; Congressman Curt Weldon, Vice-Chair, House Armed Services Committee, USA; Hayashi Yoshimasa, Chair, Security Committee, Japan.

NOTE: Hearing to be webcast (link and background information at as of 9 September) 10:00am-12:00pm US Eastern Time (14:00-16:00 GMT), and a legislators’ dialogue to be webcast 1:00pm-3:30pm Eastern. To submit questions to experts or legislators or request further information, email any time before the event. To submit questions during the sessions, follow link to the webcast. If attending in person, conference begins 09:30am, Room 2105, Rayburn Building, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC.

e-Parliament Conference on Space Security
2105 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC
14 September 2005


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