Fifth Manfred Lachs International Conference on Global Space Governance and the UN 2030 Agenda

Co-convened by

The Institute of Air and Space Law and the Centre for Research in Air and Space Law

Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

and the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety, Noordwijk, The Netherlands

In collaboration with

United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the Canadian Space Agency, the Secure World Foundation and ROOM, The Space Journal


The Fifth Manfred Lachs International Conference on Global Space Governance and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will take place on 5-6 May 2017 in Montreal, Canada.

MLC17 will take place at the Best Western Ville-Marie (3407 Peel St, Montreal, QC H3A 1W7) from approximately 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Participants can secure a nightly rate of $169 at the Best Western by mentioning their attendance at the “Manfred Lachs conference". Montreal is very busy in May and we therefore suggest booking your rooms as early as possible.

Organised in association with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, this conference comes three years after the Montreal Declaration was adopted in 2014.

The Fifth Manfred Lachs International Conference is the long-anticipated event at which findings of the seminal Global Space Governance Study will be presented.


For the complete programme, please refer to this page.

Please download the programme for the Conference.

To register for the Conference, please use this registration form.




  • 7 February 2017 - Deadline for abstract submission
  • 24 February 2017 - Notification to authors
  • 28 April 2017 - Deadline for paper submission (“no paper – no podium”)
  • 5-6 May 2017 - Conference

The 2017 Manfred Lachs Conference (MLC17) will be hosted by McGill University’s Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, from 5-6 May 2017 in order to address: What are the governance mechanisms related to global outer space activities that ought to be adopted to facilitate achieving the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals?

The MLC17 will be organized together with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) as one of the key Workshops/Conferences in preparation of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) fiftieth anniversary of the first UNISPACE Conference (UNISPACE+50) (UN Doc A/AC.105/L.297). MLC17 will address UNISPACE+50 Thematic Priority II, the “legal regime of outer space and global space governance: future and current perspectives”. The key ideas from this Conference will be presented at the Fall 2017 High-Level Forum in preparation for UNISPACE+50 with an aim to providing viable input to UNISPACE+50 in 2018.

Building upon past Manfred Lachs Conferences, the general theme of the MLC17 will align with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda consist of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet, ensure prosperity for all and promote global peace and “argues for stronger space governance and… calls for strengthened space cooperation and coordination mechanisms at the international, regional, interregional and national levels.” (UN document A/AC.105/1115) Global governance of outer space activities refers primarily to the framework for governing international cooperation in the use of outer space for peaceful purposes and for the benefit and in the interests of all countries.

MLC17 seeks to assemble leading experts on global space governance and sustainable development to explore areas where stronger space governance and supporting structures are required to: (a) protect the space environment and secure the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, and (b) support nations in implementing the 2030 Agenda and reaching its goals. Specifically, it will address how outer space activities can promote and aid the achievement of:

(a) inclusive social, educational and health related development;

(b) inclusive economic development;

(c) environmental sustainability on Earth and in space; and

(d) peace and security.

In addition, the findings and recommendations from the International Study on Global Space Governance that resulted from the Montreal Declaration as adopted at the 2nd Manfred Lachs Conference in May 2014 will be presented at the 5th MLC17. Many of these findings and recommendations are relevant to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The participants to the 5th MLC17 will have a chance to comment on these findings and recommendations as they will also be presented to UNISPACE+50.

By this Call for Papers, the organizers of the Conference seek papers that, among other things, will discuss and critically analyze the current technical, economic, political, strategic, and legal challenges in the design of global space governance mechanisms to effectively achieve the UN 2030 Agenda and its identified SDGs. Papers should be between 2,500 and 4,000 words in length and must specifically and directly address the theme of the Conference.

Interested authors may submit an abstract not exceeding 250 words via e-mail to Aram Kerkonian at: mlc.iasl [at] by 7 February 2017. The abstract must indicate the precise topic or title of the paper, the author's (or authors') full name(s), full contact details including valid email address, and current institutional affiliation. Please submit your abstract via e-mail with the subject: “5th MLC17 Abstract – [Author(s) LAST NAME]”. The language of the Conference will be English and, as such, we will accept only abstracts and papers written in English.

Each submitted abstract will be evaluated on the basis of its technical quality, innovative ideas and relevance to the theme of the Conference. All authors whose abstracts are selected and who proceed to submit duly completed papers by the applicable deadline will be permitted to orally present their papers at the Conference. The Conference registration fee will be waived for authors who participate in the Conference as speakers. Suitable scholarly papers of the highest quality may also be published as part of an edited collection.

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