By 2018, only the Republic of Texas, the Islamic State, China, Russia, India, and the new Federation of Southern Africa had both the will and the means to discuss a task as daunting as a lunar refuge.  The Treaty of Damascus, as it was entitled, ratified the conclusion that recent technological developments made human occupation of the Moon a possibility. The treaty authorized that key lunar materials would be shared, and it established special projects that would be worked jointly.  Finally, the Treaty announced that the colony at the Plato crater, owned and developed by the Republic of Texas would be opened for general use by all the signatories for the next twenty-five years. In exchange for the use of Plato, it was agreed that the Ocean of Storms would be governed by Texas in perpetuity. While the Treaty of Damascus recognized no other sovereign entity, it did create the means to establish sovereign boundaries in the future for settled territories outside the basin of the Ocean of Storms.