United Nations

A/RES/41/65


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

3 December 1986

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                   A/RES/41/65
                                                   95th plenary meeting
                                                   3 December 1986
 
 
     41/65.  Principles relating to remote sensing of the Earth from space
 
     The General Assembly,
 
     Recalling its resolution 3234 (XXIX) of 12 November 1974, in which it
recommended that the Legal Sub-Committee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses
of Outer Space should consider the question of the legal implications of
remote sensing of the Earth from space, as well as its resolutions 3388 (XXX)
of 18 November 1975, 31/8 of 8 November 1976, 32/196 A of 20 December 1977,
33/16 of 10 November 1978, 34/66 of 5 December 1979, 35/14 of 3 November 1980,
36/35 of 18 November 1981, 37/89 of 10 December 1982, 38/80 of
15 December 1983, 39/96 of 14 December 1984 and 40/162 of 16 December 1985, in
which it called for a detailed consideration of the legal implications of
remote sensing of the Earth from space, with the aim of formulating draft
principles relating to remote sensing,
 
     Having considered the report of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of
Outer Space on the work of its twenty-ninth session and the text of the draft
Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Space, annexed
thereto, 
 
     Noting with satisfaction that the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer
Space, on the basis of the deliberations of its Legal Sub-Committee, has
endorsed the text of the draft Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the
Earth from Space,
 
     Believing that the adoption of the Principles Relating to Remote Sensing
of the Earth from Space will contribute to the strengthening of international
co-operation in this field,
 
     Adopts the Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Space
set forth in the annex to the present resolution.
 
 
                                    ANNEX
        Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Space
                                 Principle I
 
     For the purposes of these principles with respect to remote sensing
activities:
 
     (a)  The term "remote sensing" means the sensing of the Earth's surface
from space by making use of the properties of electromagnetic waves emitted,
reflected or diffracted by the sensed objects, for the purpose of improving
natural resources management, land use and the protection of the environment;
 
     (b)  The term "primary data" means the raw data that are acquired by
remote sensors borne by a space object and that are transmitted or delivered
to the ground from space by telemetry in the form of electromagnetic signals,
by photographic film, magnetic tape or any other means;
 
     (c)  The term "processed data" means the products resulting from the
processing of the primary data, needed to make such data usable;
 
     (d)  The term "analysed information" means the information resulting from
the interpretation of processed data, inputs of data and knowledge from other
sources; 
 
     (e)  The term "remote sensing activities" means the operation of remote
sensing space systems, primary data collection and storage stations, and
activities in processing, interpreting and disseminating the processed data.
 
 
                                 Principle II
 
     Remote sensing activities shall be carried out for the benefit and in the
interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic, social
or scientific and technological development, and taking into particular
consideration the needs of the developing countries.
 
 
                                Principle III
 
     Remote sensing activities shall be conducted in accordance with
international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, the Treaty on
Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of
Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, and the relevant
instruments of the International Telecommunication Union.
 
 
                                 Principle IV
 
     Remote sensing activities shall be conducted in accordance with the
principles contained in article I of the Treaty on Principles Governing the
Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the
Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, which, in particular provides that the
exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in
the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or
scientific development, and stipulates the principle of freedom of exploration
and use of outer space on the basis of equality.  These activities shall be
conducted on the basis of respect for the principle of full and permanent
sovereignty of all States and peoples over their own wealth and natural
resources, with due regard to the rights and interests, in accordance with
international law, of other States and entities under their jurisdiction.
Such activities shall not be conducted in a manner detrimental to the
legitimate rights and interests of the sensed State.
 
                                 Principle V
 
     States carrying out remote sensing activities shall promote international
co-operation in these activities.  To this end, they shall make available to
other States opportunities for participation therein.  Such participation
shall be based in each case on equitable and mutually acceptable terms.
 
                                 Principle VI
 
     In order to maximize the availability of benefits from remote sensing
activities, States are encouraged, through agreements or other arrangements,
to provide for the establishment and operation of data collecting and storage
stations and processing and interpretation facilities, in particular within
the framework of regional agreements or arrangements wherever feasible.
 
                                Principle VII
 
     States participating in remote sensing activities shall make available
technical assistance to other interested States on mutually agreed terms.
 
                                Principle VIII
 
     The United Nations and the relevant agencies within the United Nations
system shall promote international co-operation, including technical
assistance and co-ordination in the area of remote sensing.
 
                                 Principle IX
 
     In accordance with article IV of the Convention on Registration of
Objects Launched into Outer Space and article XI of the Treaty on Principles
Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space,
including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, a State carrying out a
programme of remote sensing shall inform the Secretary-General of the United
Nations.  It shall, moreover, make available any other relevant information to
the greatest extent feasible and practicable to any other State, particularly
any developing country that is affected by the programme, at its request.
 
                                 Principle X
 
     Remote sensing shall promote the protection of the Earth's natural
environment.  To this end, States participating in remote sensing activities
that have identified information in their possession that can be used to avert
any phenomenon harmful to the Earth's natural environment shall disclose such
information to States concerned.
 
                                 Principle XI
 
     Remote sensing shall promote the protection of mankind from natural
disasters.  To this end, States participating in remote sensing activities
that have identified processed data and analysed information in their
possession that may be useful to States affected by natural disasters, or
likely to be affected by impending natural disasters, shall transmit such data
and information to States concerned as promptly as possible.
 
                                Principle XII
 
     As soon as the primary data and the processed data concerning the
territory under its jurisdiction are produced, the sensed State shall have
access to them on a non-discriminatory basis and on reasonable cost terms.
The sensed State shall also have access to the available analysed information
concerning the territory under its jurisdiction in the possession of any State
participating in remote sensing activities on the same basis and terms,
particular regard being given to the needs and interests of the developing
countries.
 
                                Principle XIII
 
     To promote and intensify international co-operation, especially with
regard to the needs of developing countries, a State carrying out remote
sensing of the Earth from space shall, upon request, enter into consultations
with a State whose territory is sensed in order to make available
opportunities for participation and enhance the mutual benefits to be derived
therefrom.
 
                                Principle XIV
 
     In compliance with article VI of the Treaty on Principles Governing the
Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the
Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, States operating remote sensing satellites
shall bear international responsibility for their activities and assure that
such activities are conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty
and the norms of international law, irrespective of whether such activities
are carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities or through
international organizations to which such States are parties.  This principle
is without prejudice to the applicability of the norms of international law on
State responsibility for remote sensing activities.
 
                                 Principle XV
 
     Any dispute resulting from the application of these principles shall be
resolved through the established procedures for the peaceful settlement of
disputes.