United Nations

A/RES/42/33


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

30 November 1987

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                 A/RES/42/33
                                                 84th plenary meeting
                                                 30 November 1987
 
                 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, 39/59 of 12 December 1984, 40/87 of
 12 December 1985, and 41/53 of 3 December 1986 and the relevant paragraphs of
 the Political Declaration adopted by the Eighth Conference of Heads of State
 or Government of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Harare from 1 to
 6 September 1986,
 
          Gravely concerned at the danger posed to all mankind by an arms race
 in outer space and, in particular, by the impending threat of the exacerbation
 of the current state of insecurity by developments that could further
 undermine international peace and security and retard the pursuit of general
 and complete disarmament,
 
          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 at 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
 continued since 1985 on a complex of questions concerning space and nuclear
 arms, both strategic and intermediate-range, and in their relationship, with
 the declared objective, endorsed in the joint statement of their leaders on
 21 November 1985, 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,
 
          Taking note of that part of the report of the Conference on
 Disarmament relating to this question,
 
          Welcoming the re-establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee on the
 prevention of an arms race in outer space during the 1987 session of the
 Conference on Disarmament, in the exercise of the negotiating responsibilities
 of this sole multilateral negotiating body on disarmament, to continue to
 examine and to identify through substantive and general consideration issues
 relevant to the prevention of an arms race in outer space,
 
          Noting that the work accomplished in 1987 by the Ad Hoc Committee of
 the Conference on Disarmament has contributed to a fuller identification of
 issues and a better understanding of a number of problems and to a clearer
 perception of the various positions,
 
          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.   Recognizes, as stated in the report of the Ad Hoc Committee of
 the Conference on Disarmament, that the legal regime applicable to outer
 space, as such, is not sufficient to guarantee the prevention of an arms race
 in outer space, the significant role that regime plays in the prevention of an
 arms race in that environment, the need to consolidate and reinforce that
 regime and to enhance its effectiveness, and the importance of strict
 compliance with existing agreements, both bilateral and multilateral;
 
          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 the 1987 session of the Conference and at the forty-second
 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 1988
 session, 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.  Takes note that the study on disarmament problems relating to
 outer space and the consequence of extending the arms race into outer space,
 called for in resolution 41/53, has been prepared by the United Nations
 Institute for Disarmament Research and that, after a final meeting of the
 group of experts held in September 1987, the report was finalized and being
 prepared for publication in autumn 1987;
 
          13.  Requests the Secretary-General to invite the views of Member
 States on all aspects of the question of the prevention of an arms race in
 outer space and to submit a report to the General Assembly at its forty-third
 session;
 
          14.  Requests the Conference on Disarmament to report on its
 consideration of this subject to the General Assembly at its forty-third
 session;
 
          15.  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 forty-second session;
 
          16.  Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its forty-third
 session the item entitled "Prevention of an arms race in outer space".