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SETI Reply Protocols

Note: By resolution of the Board of Trustees on 17 August 1997, The SETI League, Inc. officially endorses the following Protocols, and respectfully requests that our members embrace them.
Proposed by the SETI Commitee of the International Academy of Astronautics, 1995

  1. International consultations should be initiated to consider the question of sending communications to extraterrestrial civilizations.

  2. Consultations on whether a message should be sent, and its content, should take place within the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space of the United Nations and within other governmental and non-governmental organizations, and should accommodate participation by qualified, interested groups that can contribute constructively to these consultations.

  3. These consultations should be open to participation by all interested States and should be intended to lead to recommendations reflecting a consensus.

  4. The United Nations General Assembly should consider making the decision on whether or not to send a message to extraterrestrial intelligence, and on what the content of that message should be, based on recommendations from the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and from governmental and non-governmental organizations.

  5. If a decision is made to send a message to extraterrestrial intelligence, it should be sent on behalf of all Humankind, rather than from individual States.

  6. The content of such a message should reflect a careful concern for the broad interests and wellbeing of Humanity, and should be made available to the public in advance of transmission.

  7. As the sending of a communication to extraterrestrial intelligence could lead to an exchange of communications separated by many years, consideration should be given to a long-term institutional framework for such communications.

  8. No communication to extraterrestrial intelligence should be sent by any State until appropriate international consultations have taken place. States should not cooperate with attempts to communicate with extraterrestrial intelligence that do not conform to the principles of this Declaration.

  9. In their deliberations on these questions, States participating in this Declaration and United Nations bodies should draw on the expertise of scientists, scholars, and other persons with relevant knowledge.

Courtesy of the IAA SETI Committee

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