International space cooperation: Switzerland signs Artemis Accords

Press releases, 15.04.2024

On 15 April Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin signed the Artemis Accords in Washington on Switzerland’s behalf. The Artemis Accords are a political declaration of intent reflecting the signatory states' common understanding of the principles by which they intend to explore and use the Moon, Mars and other celestial bodies.

The Artemis states reaffirm their commitment to comply with international rules and regulations in the spirit of the UN Outer Space Treaty. They also support their further development in multilateral forums such as the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. In addition, the Artemis states endeavour to contribute to the sustainable and responsible exploration and use of outer space. The Artemis Accords emphasise in particular the importance of multilateralism.

Switzerland becomes the 37th country across all continents to sign the accords. In doing so, Switzerland joins other member states of the European Space Agency (ESA) such as Germany, France, Italy and the UK.

In signing the accords, Switzerland is emphasising its interest in closer cooperation with the USA and other signatory states. It is also emphasising its intention to create the best possible framework conditions for Swiss space research and industry with a view to participating in future NASA missions.

At the signing Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin declared that "Switzerland has a long-standing partnership with NASA on human space exploration as well as space and Earth sciences. Switzerland's signing of the Artemis Accords underlines our belief that cooperation is key to pursuing space exploration in a peaceful, safe, equitable and sustainable manner."

For his part, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson stated: "NASA welcomes Switzerland to the Artemis Accords family. As more nations expand their reach into the unknown, it is more important than ever that we commit to exploring openly and peacefully. Discovery strengthens goodwill on Earth, and we are excited to expand our countries' shared values and principles to the cosmos."

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