United Nations

A/RES/50/27


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  
50th session
5 February 1996


                                     
Fiftieth session
Agenda item 83


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

     [on the report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee
                        (Fourth Committee) (A/50/604)]


                 50/27.   International cooperation in the
                          peaceful uses of outer space


      The General Assembly,

      Recalling its resolution 49/34 of 9 December 1994,

      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  1/ on the
implementation of the recommendations of the Second United Nations
Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space,  2/

      Having considered the report of the Committee on the Peaceful
Uses of Outer Space on the work of its thirty-eighth session,  3/

      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  4/ to give
consideration to ratifying or acceding to those treaties;

      3.    Notes that, at its thirty-fourth 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 49/34;  5/

      4.    Endorses the recommendations of the Committee that the Legal
Subcommittee, at its thirty-fifth session, taking into account the
concerns of all countries, particularly those of developing countries,
should:

      (a)   Continue its consideration of the question of review and
possible revision of the Principles Relevant to the Use of Nuclear
Power Sources in Outer Space;  6/

      (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.    Also endorses the recommendation of the Committee that the
Legal Subcommittee, at its thirty-fifth session, should suspend
consideration in its working group of the Principles Relevant to the
Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space pending the results of the
work in the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, without prejudice
to the possibility of reconvening its working group on that item if in
the opinion of the Legal Subcommittee sufficient progress was made in
the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee at its session in 1996 to
warrant the reconvening of the working group;

      6.    Notes that deliberations on the question of the
geostationary orbit have been undertaken by the Legal Subcommittee as
reflected in its report, 5/ on the basis of recent proposals which
might provide a new and enhanced basis for future work;

      7.    Endorses the recommendations and agreements concerning the
organization of work in the Legal Subcommittee;

      8.    Notes that, in accordance with its recommendation, the
Chairman of the Legal Subcommittee, at its thirty-fourth session,
conducted extensive, open-ended informal consultations with all
members of the Subcommittee on the working methods and agenda of the
Legal Subcommittee, including the consideration of possible additional
items for inclusion in the agenda as outlined in the report of the
Committee,  7/ and also notes that, in accordance with the
recommendation of the Committee, a Working Group of the Whole was
established at its thirty-eighth session to examine the working
methods of the Committee and its subsidiary bodies, which took
particular account of the results of the informal consultations of the
Chairman of the Legal Subcommittee;

      9.    Endorses the recommendations of the Committee as contained
in the report of its thirty-eighth session with regard to its working
methods and to the reconvening of the Working Group of the Whole at
the thirty-ninth session of the Committee; 7/

      10.   Notes that, in accordance with the recommendation contained
in General Assembly resolutions 48/222 B of 23 December 1993 and
49/221 B of 23 December 1994, the Committee reviewed its needs for
written records;

      11.   Endorses the recommendation of the Committee that, beginning
with its thirty-ninth session, the Committee would be provided with
unedited transcripts of its session in lieu of verbatim records, as
described in the report of the Secretariat on this matter;  8/

      12.   Requests the Legal Subcommittee to review, at its thirty-
fifth session, its requirement for summary records with a view to
determining whether it may be possible to utilize unedited transcripts
at its subsequent sessions and to consider under what circumstances
there might be a need to revert to summary records should a decision
be taken to utilize unedited transcripts;

      13.   Notes that the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the
Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, at its thirty-second
session, continued its work as mandated by the General Assembly in its
resolution 49/34;  9/

      14.   Welcomes the decision of the Committee to consider the
matter of space debris as a matter of priority on the agenda of the
Scientific and Technical Subcommittee;

      15.   Notes that under that item the Scientific and Technical
Subcommittee continued to consider scientific research relating to
space debris, including relevant studies, mathematical modelling and
other analytical work on the characterization of the space debris
environment;

      16.   Agrees with the endorsement by the Committee of the multi-
year plan for consideration of the agenda item on space debris adopted
by the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee at its thirty-second
session,  10/ and also agrees that the work plan should be
implemented with flexibility;

      17.   Also endorses the recommendations of the Committee that the
Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, at its thirty-third 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; 2/

    (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;

      (v)   Space debris;

      (b)   Consider the following items:

      (i)   Questions relating to space transportation systems and their
            implications for future activities in space;

     (ii)   Examination of the physical nature and technical attributes
            of the geostationary orbit and 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;

    (iii)   Matters relating to life sciences, including space medicine;

     (iv)   Progress in national and international space activities
            related to the Earth's environment, in particular progress
            in the geosphere-biosphere (global change) programme;

      (v)   Matters relating to planetary exploration;

     (vi)   Matters relating to astronomy;

    (vii)   The theme fixed for special attention at the 1996 session of
            the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee:  "Utilization of micro-
             and small satellites for the expansion of low-cost space
            activities, taking into account the special needs of
            developing countries"; 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;

      18.   Considers, in the context of paragraph 17 (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 is also desirable to encourage the availability of
opportunities for such exposure on other bilateral or multilateral
bases outside the United Nations system;

      19.   Endorses the recommendation of the Committee that the
Scientific and Technical Subcommittee should reconvene, at its thirty-
third 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;

      20.   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;  11/

      21.   Decides that, during the thirty-third 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;

      22.   Endorses the United Nations Programme on Space Applications
for 1996, as proposed to the Committee by the Expert on Space
Applications;  12/

      23.   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;

      24.   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;

      25.   Expresses its appreciation to all Governments that have
made, or expressed their intention to make, contributions towards
carrying out the recommendations of the Conference;

      26.   Invites all Governments to take effective action for the
implementation of the recommendations of the Conference;

      27.   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;

      28.   Invites the Secretary-General to report to the General
Assembly at its fifty-first session on the implementation of the
recommendations of the Conference;

      29.   Notes with satisfaction that, in the context of
paragraph 18 (c) above, significant progress has been achieved in
establishing regional centres for space science and technology
education in each region covered by the regional commissions;

      30.   Endorses the recommendation of the Committee that these
centres be established on the basis of affiliation to the United
Nations as early as possible and that such affiliation would provide
the centres with the necessary recognition and would strengthen the
possibilities of attracting donors and of establishing academic
relationships with national and international space-related
institutions;

      31.   Notes that, pursuant to its request in paragraph 27 of
resolution 49/34, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, at its
thirty-second session, continued its discussions on the possibility of
holding a third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and
Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and that the Committee continued these
discussions at its thirty-eighth session with a view to promoting an
early conclusion on the matter by the Committee;

      32.   Agrees that a third United Nations Conference on the
Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space could be convened before
the turn of the present century, and that, prior to recommending a
date for the conference, there should be a consensus recommendation on
the agenda, venue and funding of the conference;

      33.   Recommends that the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee,
at its thirty-third session, continue the work it had conducted at its
thirty-second session, taking into particular account the report of
its Working Group of the Whole, 11/ with the aim being to complete the
development and refinement of a framework that would allow an
evaluation of proposals by the Committee at its thirty-ninth session,
and that this framework should allow for the consideration of all
possibilities of achieving the final objectives of such a conference;

      34.   Agrees that, on the basis of the work to be conducted at the
thirty-third session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, the
Committee, at its thirty-ninth session, should consider all issues
related to the possible convening of a third United Nations Conference
on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, including its
technical and political objectives, a detailed and sharply focused
agenda, funding, timing and other organizational aspects as well as
whether the objectives of the conference could be achieved by other
means, with a view to making a final recommendation to the General
Assembly at that session of the Committee;

      35.   Notes with interest the plans of the Government of Uruguay
to host the Third Space Conference of the Americas at Punta del Este
in 1996;

      36.   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;

      37.   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, 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 also considers that, to the extent
possible, information thereon should be provided to the Scientific and
Technical Subcommittee;

      38.   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;

      39.   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 people of the developing
countries;

      40.   Takes note of the views expressed during the thirty-eighth
session of the Committee and during the fiftieth session of the
General Assembly concerning ways and means of maintaining outer space
for peaceful purposes;

      41.   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 fifty-
first session;

      42.   Also requests the Committee to continue to consider at its
thirty-ninth session its agenda item entitled "Spin-off benefits of
space technology:  review of current status";

      43.   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;

      44.   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 fifty-first session, including its views on which
subjects should be studied in the future.

                                                          82nd plenary meeting
                                                               6 December 1995


                                     Notes

1/   A/50/384.

2/   See Report of the Second United Nations Conference on the
Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, Vienna, 9-21 August
1982, and corrigenda (A/CONF.101/10 and Corr.1 and 2).

3/   Official Records of the General Assembly, Fiftieth
Session, Supplement No. 20 (A/50/20).

4/   Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States
in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and
Other Celestial Bodies (resolution 2222 (XXI), annex); Agreement on
the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of
Objects Launched into Outer Space (resolution 2345 (XXII), annex);
Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space
Objects (resolution 2777 (XXVI), annex); Convention on Registration of
Objects Launched into Outer Space (resolution 3235 (XXIX), annex);
Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other
Celestial Bodies (resolution 34/68, annex).

5/   See Official Records of the General Assembly, Fiftieth
Session, Supplement No. 20 (A/50/20), sect. II.C.

6/   See resolution 47/68.

7/   See Official Records of the General Assembly, Fiftieth
Session, Supplement No. 20 (A/50/20), sect. II.E.3.

8/   A/AC.105/L.207.

9/   See Official Records of the General Assembly, Fiftieth
Session, Supplement No. 20 (A/50/20), sect. II.B.

10/  A/AC.105/605, para. 83.

11/  A/AC.105/605, annex II.

12/  A/AC.105/595, sect. I.

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Date last posted: 15 January 2000 16:15:30
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