United Nations

A/RES/40/87


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

12 December 1985

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                       A/RES/40/87
                                                       12 December 1985
                                                       113th plenary meeting
 
                  Prevention of an arms race in outer space
 
     The General Assembly,
 
     Inspired by the great prospects opening up before mankind as a result of
man's entry into outer space,
 
     Recognizing the common interest of all mankind in the exploration and use
of outer space for peaceful purposes,
 
     Reaffirming that the exploration and use of outer space, including the
Moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in
the interest of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or
scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind,
 
     Reaffirming further the will of all States that the exploration and use
of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, shall be for
peaceful purposes,
 
     Recalling that the States parties to the Treaty on Principles Governing
the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including
the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies,  have undertaken, in article III, to
carry on activities in the exploration and use of outer space, including the
Moon and other celestial bodies, in accordance with international law and the
Charter of the United Nations, in the interest of maintaining international
peace and security and promoting international co-operation and understanding,
 
     Reaffirming, in particular, article IV of the above-mentioned Treaty,
which stipulates that States parties to the Treaty undertake not to place in
orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds
of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies or
station such weapons in outer space in any other manner,
 
     Reaffirming also paragraph 80 of the Final Document of the Tenth Special
Session of the General Assembly,  the first special session devoted to
disarmament, in which it is stated that, in order to prevent an arms race in
outer space, further measures should be taken and appropriate international
negotiations held in accordance with the spirit of the Treaty,
 
     Recalling its resolutions 36/97 C and 36/99 of 9 December 1981, as well
as resolutions 37/83 of 9 December 1982, 37/99 D of 13 December 1982, 38/70 of
15 December 1983 and 39/59 of 12 December 1984,
 
     Gravely concerned at the danger posed to all mankind by an arms race in
outer space and in particular by the impending threat of exacerbating the
current state of insecurity by developments that could further undermine
international peace and security, retard the pursuit of general and complete
disarmament, and risk creating obstacles to the development of international
co-operation in the peaceful uses of outer space,
 
     Mindful of the widespread interest expressed by Member States in the
course of the negotiations on and following the adoption of the
above-mentioned Treaty in ensuring that the exploration and use of outer space
should be for peaceful purposes, and taking note of proposals submitted to the
General Assembly at its tenth special session and at its regular sessions and
to the Conference on Disarmament,
 
     Noting the grave concern expressed by the Second United Nations
Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space over the
extension of an arms race into outer space and the recommendations made to the
competent organs of the United Nations, in particular, the General Assembly,
and also to the Committee on Disarmament,
 
     Convinced that further measures are needed for the prevention of an arms
race in outer space,
 
     Recognizing that, in the context of multilateral negotiations for
preventing an arms race in outer space, bilateral negotiations between the
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America could
make a significant contribution to such an objective, in accordance with
paragraph 27 of the Final Document of the Tenth Special Session,
 
     Noting with satisfaction that bilateral negotiations between the Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America have begun in
1985, on a complex of questions concerning space and nuclear arms, both
strategic and intermediate-range, and in their interrelationship, with the
declared objective of working out effective agreements aimed, inter alia, at
preventing an arms race in outer space,
 
     Anxious that concrete results should emerge from these negotiations as
soon as possible, as was urged in resolution 39/59,
 
     Taking note of the section of the report of the Conference on Disarmament
relating to this question,
 
     Welcoming the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee on the prevention of
an arms race in outer space during the 1985 session of the Conference on
Disarmament, in the exercise of the negotiating responsibilities of this sole
multilateral negotiating body on disarmament, to examine, as a first step at
this stage, issues relevant to the prevention of an arms race in outer space,
 
     Mindful that consensus had not yet been reached in the Conference on
Disarmament on concrete proposals for re-establishing the ad hoc committee on
this question during the 1986 session of the Conference on Disarmament,
 
     1.   Recalls the obligation of all States to refrain from the threat or
use of force in their space activities;
 
     2.   Reaffirms that general and complete disarmament under effective
international control warrants that outer space shall be used exclusively for
peaceful purposes and that it shall not become an arena for an arms race;
 
     3.   Emphasizes that further measures with appropriate and effective
provisions for verification to prevent an arms race in outer space should be
adopted by the international community;
 
     4.   Calls upon all States, in particular those with major space
capabilities, to contribute actively to the objective of the peaceful use of
outer space and to take immediate measures to prevent an arms race in outer
space in the interest of maintaining international peace and security and
promoting international co-operation and understanding;
 
     5.   Requests the Secretary-General to invite Member States to submit
their views on the possibility of enhancing international co-operation in the
field of preventing an arms race in outer space and the peaceful uses of outer
space, including the desirability of establishing relevant machinery for that
purpose, and to submit a report to the General Assembly at its forty-first
session; 
 
     6.   Reiterates that the Conference on Disarmament, as the single
multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, has the primary role in the
negotiation of a multilateral agreement or agreements, as appropriate, on the
prevention of an arms race in outer space in all its aspects;
 
     7.   Requests the Conference on Disarmament to consider as a matter of
priority the question of preventing an arms race in outer space;
 
     8.   Also requests the Conference on Disarmament to intensify its
consideration of the question of the prevention of an arms race in outer space
in all its aspects, taking into account all relevant proposals including those
presented in the ad hoc committee on the prevention of an arms race in outer
space at its 1985 session and at the fortieth session of the General Assembly;
 
     9.   Further requests the Conference on Disarmament to re-establish an
ad hoc committee with an adequate mandate at the beginning of its session in
1986, with a view to undertaking negotiations for the conclusion of an
agreement or agreements, as appropriate, to prevent an arms race in outer
space in all its aspects;
 
     10.  Urges the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States
of America to pursue intensively their bilateral negotiations in a
constructive spirit aimed at reaching early agreement for preventing an arms
race in outer space, and to advise the Conference on Disarmament periodically
of the progress of their bilateral sessions so as to facilitate its work;
 
     11.  Calls upon all States especially those with major space
capabilities, to refrain, in their activities relating to outer space, from
actions contrary to the observance of the relevant existing treaties or to the
objective of preventing an arms race in outer space;
 
     12.  Invites Member States to transmit to the Secretary-General, not
later than l April 1986, their views on the scope and content of the study
being undertaken by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research
on disarmament problems relating to outer space and the consequences of
extending the arms race into outer space, and requests the Secretary-General
to convey the views of the Member States to the Advisory Board on Disarmament
Studies for consideration in order to enable it, in its capacity of Board of
Trustees of the Institute, to give the Institute such possible guidance with
respect to the elaboration of its study as it may derive from those views;
 
     13.  Requests the Conference on Disarmament to report on its
consideration of this subject to the General Assembly at its forty-first
session; 
 
     14.  Requests the Secretary-General to transmit to the Conference on
Disarmament all documents relating to the consideration of this subject by the
General Assembly at its fortieth session;
 
     15.  Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its forty-first
session the item entitled "Prevention of an arms race in outer space".