United Nations

A/RES/48/39


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

10 December 1993

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                  A/RES/48/39
                                                  75th plenary meeting
                                                  10 December 1993
 
     International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space
 
      The General Assembly,
 
      Recalling its resolution 47/67 of 14 December 1992,
 
      Deeply convinced of the common interest of mankind in promoting the
exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes and in continuing
efforts to extend to all States the benefits derived therefrom, and also of
the importance of international cooperation in this field, for which the
United Nations should continue to provide a focal point,
 
      Reaffirming the importance of international cooperation in developing
the rule of law, including the relevant norms of space law and their important
role in international cooperation for the exploration and use of outer space
for peaceful purposes,
 
      Concerned about the possibility of an arms race in outer space,
 
      Recognizing that all States, in particular those with major space
capabilities, should contribute actively to the goal of preventing an arms
race in outer space as an essential condition for the promotion of
international cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for
peaceful purposes,
 
      Considering that space debris is an issue of concern to all nations,
 
      Noting the progress achieved in the further development of peaceful
space exploration and application as well as in various national and
cooperative space projects, which contribute to international cooperation, and
the importance of further international cooperation in this field,
 
      Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on implementation of
the recommendations of the Second United Nations Conference on the Exploration
and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space,
 
      Having considered the report of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of
Outer Space on the work of its thirty-sixth session,
 
      1.    Endorses the report of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer
Space;
 
      2.    Invites States that have not yet become parties to the
international treaties governing the uses of outer space to give consideration
to ratifying or acceding to those treaties;
 
      3.    Notes that, at its thirty-second session, the Legal Subcommittee
of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, in its working groups,
continued its work as mandated by the General Assembly in its resolution
47/67;
 
      4.    Endorses the recommendations of the Committee that the Legal
Subcommittee, at its thirty-third session, taking into account the concerns of
all countries, particularly those of developing countries, should:
 
      (a)   Continue, through its working group, its consideration of the
question of early review and possible revision of the Principles Relevant to
the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space;
 
      (b)   Continue, through its working group, its consideration of matters
relating to the definition and delimitation of outer space and to the
character and utilization of the geostationary orbit, including consideration
of ways and means to ensure the rational and equitable use of the
geostationary orbit without prejudice to the role of the International
Telecommunication Union;
 
      (c)   Continue, through its working group, its consideration of the
legal aspects related to the application of the principle that the exploration
and utilization of outer space should be carried out for the benefit and in
the interests of all States, taking into particular account the needs of
developing countries;
 
      5.    Notes that deliberations on the question of the geostationary
orbit have been undertaken by the Legal Subcommittee, as reflected in its
report, on the basis of recent proposals which might provide a new and
enhanced basis for future work;
 
      6.    Endorses the recommendations and agreements concerning the
organization of work in the Legal Subcommittee;
 
      7.    Notes that the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the
Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, at its thirtieth session,
continued its work as mandated by the General Assembly in its resolution
47/67;
 
      8.    Welcomes the decision of the Committee to consider the matter of
space debris, and in this regard endorses the recommendation of the Committee
that a new item, entitled "Space debris", should be added to the agenda of the
Scientific and Technical Subcommittee beginning with its next session;
 
      9.    Endorses the agreement of the Committee that, under this item, the
Scientific and Technical Subcommittee would consider scientific research
relating to space debris, including relevant studies, mathematical modelling
and other analytical work on the characterization of the space debris
environment;
 
      10.   Also endorses the recommendations of the Committee that the
Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, at its thirty-first session, taking
into account the concerns of all countries, particularly those of developing
countries, should:
 
      (a)   Consider the following items on a priority basis:
 
      (i)   United Nations Programme on Space Applications and the
            coordination of space activities within the United Nations system;
 
     (ii)   Implementation of the recommendations of the Second United Nations
            Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space;
 
    (iii)   Matters relating to remote sensing of the Earth by satellites,
            including, inter alia, applications for developing countries;
 
     (iv)   Use of nuclear power sources in outer space;
 
      (b)   Consider the following items:
 
      (i)   Space debris;
 
     (ii)   Questions relating to space transportation systems and their
            implications for future activities in space;
 
    (iii)   Examination of the physical nature and technical attributes of the
            geostationary orbit; examination of its utilization and
            applications, including, inter alia, in the field of space
            communications, as well as other questions relating to space
            communications developments, taking particular account of the
            needs and interests of developing countries;
 
     (iv)   Matters relating to life sciences, including space medicine;
 
      (v)   Progress in national and international space activities related to
            the Earth's environment, in particular progress in the
            geosphere-biosphere (global change) programme;
 
     (vi)   Matters relating to planetary exploration;
 
    (vii)   Matters relating to astronomy;
 
   (viii)   The theme fixed for special attention at the 1994 session of the
            Scientific and Technical Subcommittee: "Space applications for
            disaster prevention, warning, mitigation and relief"; the
            Committee on Space Research and the International Astronautical
            Federation, in liaison with Member States, should be invited to
            arrange a symposium, with as wide a participation as possible, to
            be held during the first week of the Subcommittee's session, to
            complement discussions within the Subcommittee on the special
            theme;
 
      11.   Considers, in the context of paragraph 10 (a) (ii) above, that it
is particularly urgent to implement the following recommendations:
 
      (a)   All countries should have the opportunity to use the techniques
resulting from medical studies in space;
 
      (b)   Data banks at the national and regional levels should be
strengthened and expanded and an international space information service
should be established to function as a centre of coordination;
 
      (c)   The United Nations should support the creation of adequate
training centres at the regional level, linked, whenever possible, to
institutions implementing space programmes; necessary funding for the
development of such centres should be made available through financial
institutions;
 
      (d)   The United Nations should organize a fellowship programme through
which selected graduates or postgraduates from developing countries should get
in-depth, long-term exposure to space technology or applications; it would
also be desirable to encourage the availability of opportunities for such
exposure on other bilateral or multilateral bases outside the United Nations
system;
 
      12.   Endorses the recommendation of the Committee that the Scientific
and Technical Subcommittee should reconvene, at its thirty-first session, the
Working Group of the Whole to Evaluate the Implementation of the
Recommendations of the Second United Nations Conference on the Exploration and
Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, to continue its work;
 
      13.   Also endorses the recommendations of the Working Group of the
Whole of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, as endorsed by the
Committee and as contained in the report of the Working Group of the Whole;
 
      14.   Decides that, during the thirty-first session of the Scientific
and Technical Subcommittee, the Working Group on the Use of Nuclear Power
Sources in Outer Space should be reconvened, and invites Member States to
report to the Secretary-General on a regular basis with regard to national and
international research concerning the safety of nuclear-powered satellites;
 
      15.   Endorses the United Nations Programme on Space Applications for
1994, as proposed to the Committee by the Expert on Space Applications;
 
      16.   Emphasizes the urgency and importance of implementing fully the
recommendations of the Second United Nations Conference on the Exploration and
Peaceful Uses of Outer Space;
 
      17.   Reaffirms its approval of the recommendation of the Conference
regarding the establishment and strengthening of regional mechanisms of
cooperation and their promotion and creation through the United Nations
system;
 
      18.   Expresses its appreciation to all Governments that have made or
expressed their intention to make contributions towards carrying out the
recommendations of the Conference;
 
      19.   Invites all Governments to take effective action for the
implementation of the recommendations of the Conference;
 
      20.   Requests all organs, organizations and bodies of the United
Nations system and other intergovernmental organizations working in the field
of outer space or on space-related matters to cooperate in the implementation
of the recommendations of the Conference;
 
      21.   Invites the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at
its forty-ninth session on the implementation of the recommendations of the
Conference;
 
      22.   Notes that, pursuant to the request of the General Assembly
contained in paragraph 20 of its resolution 47/67, the Committee discussed the
possibility of holding a third United Nations Conference on the Exploration
and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in the future, and requests the Scientific
and Technical Subcommittee to continue these discussions at its thirty-first
session with a view to promoting an early conclusion on the matter by the
Committee;
 
      23.   Agrees that the most important step is to define a set of sharply
focused objectives for such a conference and that details such as
organization, venue, timing and funding should also be considered;
 
      24.   Notes that the goals set for such a conference might also be
achieved through other means including intensification of work within the
Committee;
 
      25.   Recognizes the contribution of the Second Space Conference of the
Americas, held at Santiago in 1993, and the Asia-Pacific Workshop on
Multilateral Cooperation in Space Technology and Applications, held at Beijing
in 1992, towards promoting regional cooperation in space activities, as well
as the meetings mentioned in paragraph 13 of the report of the
Secretary-General on the implementation of the recommendations of the Second
United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space,
and calls upon the regional commissions to support these initiatives;
 
      26.   Recommends that more attention be paid to all aspects related to
the protection and the preservation of the outer space environment, especially
those potentially affecting the Earth's environment;
 
      27.   Considers that it is essential that Member States pay more
attention to the problem of collisions of space objects, including nuclear
power sources, with space debris, and other aspects of space debris, and calls
for the continuation of national research on this question, for the
development of improved technology for the monitoring of space debris and for
the compilation and dissemination of data on space debris and that, to the
extent possible, information thereon should be provided to the Scientific and
Technical Subcommittee;
 
      28.   Takes note with interest of the analytical report prepared by the
Secretariat on the role that the Committee could play in view of the decisions
and recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development and agrees that it could make an important contribution to the
Committee's future work in this area;
 
      29.   Requests the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee to review the
report at its next session and consider further how the Committee might best
promote the effective use of space technology, on the basis of international
cooperation, for environmental monitoring and sustainable development;
 
      30.   Requests the Secretariat to provide the Scientific and Technical
Subcommittee with updated information on the implementation of Agenda 21 by
the United Nations system, with information on activities of the United
Nations Programme on Space Applications related to environment and
development, and with suggestions as to how the activities of the Programme on
Space Applications in this area might be expanded;
 
      31.   Recommends that permanent observer status to the Committee be
granted to the Association of Space Explorers, on the understanding that, in
accordance with the agreement of the Committee at its thirty-third session
concerning observer status for non-governmental organizations, the Association
would apply for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council;
 
      32.   Notes that, in accordance with the decisions of the General
Assembly and the Secretary-General, the Office for Outer Space Affairs has
been relocated to the United Nations Office at Vienna and that, as part of
that restructuring, the Office for Outer Space Affairs will be responsible for
servicing the Committee, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the
Legal Subcommittee and their subsidiary bodies;
 
      33.   Endorses the agreement of the Committee that the meetings of the
Committee and of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee should be held at
Vienna in accordance with the headquarters rule contained in General Assembly
resolution 40/243 of 18 December 1985, that the thirty-third session of the
Legal Subcommittee should be held at Vienna and that the venue for its
subsequent meetings should be reviewed in the light of the 1994 session;
 
      34.   Urges all States, in particular those with major space
capabilities, to contribute actively to the goal of preventing an arms race in
outer space as an essential condition for the promotion of international
cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes;
 
      35.   Emphasizes the need to increase the benefits of space technology
and its applications and to contribute to an orderly growth of space
activities favourable to the socio-economic advancement of humanity, in
particular that of the peoples of the developing countries;
 
      36.   Takes note of the views expressed during the thirty-sixth session
of the Committee and during the forty-eighth session of the General Assembly
concerning ways and means of maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes;
 
      37.   Requests the Committee to continue to consider, as a matter of
priority, ways and means of maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes and
to report thereon to the General Assembly at its forty-ninth session;
 
      38.   Also requests the Committee to continue to consider, at its
thirty-seventh session, its agenda item entitled "Spin-off benefits of space
technology: review of current status";
 
      39.   Requests the specialized agencies and other international
organizations to continue and, where appropriate, enhance their cooperation
with the Committee and to provide it with progress reports on their work
relating to the peaceful uses of outer space;
 
      40.   Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General on international
cooperation in space activities for enhancing security in the post-cold-war
era and calls upon the competent bodies to take into account its contents;
 
      41.   Requests the Committee to continue its work, in accordance with
the present resolution, to consider, as appropriate, new projects in outer
space activities and to submit a report to the General Assembly at its
forty-ninth session, including its views on which subjects should be studied
in the future.