United Nations

A/RES/51/44


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

10 December 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                   A/RES/51/44
                                                   79th plenary meeting
                                                   10 December 1996
 
 
                 51/44. Prevention of an arms race in outer space
 
      The General Assembly,
 
      Recognizing the common interest of all mankind in the exploration and
use of outer space for peaceful purposes,
 
      Reaffirming 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 and shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all
countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development,
 
      Reaffirming also provisions of articles III and IV 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,
 
      Recalling the obligation of all States to observe the provisions of the
Charter of the United Nations regarding the use or threat of use of force in
their international relations, including in their space activities,
 
      Reaffirming paragraph 80 of the Final Document of the Tenth Special
Session of the General Assembly, 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 previous resolutions on this issue and taking note of the
proposals submitted to the General Assembly at its tenth special session and
at its regular sessions, and of the recommendations made to the competent
organs of the United Nations and to the Conference on Disarmament,
 
      Recognizing that prevention of an arms race in outer space would avert a
grave danger for international peace and security,
 
      Emphasizing the paramount importance of strict compliance with existing
arms limitation and disarmament agreements relevant to outer space, including
bilateral agreements, and with the existing legal regime concerning the use of
outer space,
 
      Considering that wide participation in the legal regime applicable to
outer space could contribute to enhancing its effectiveness,
 
      Noting that the Ad Hoc Committee on the Prevention of an Arms Race in
Outer Space, taking into account its previous efforts since its establishment
in 1985 and seeking to enhance its functioning in qualitative terms, continued
the examination and identification of various issues, existing agreements and
existing proposals, as well as future initiatives relevant to the prevention
of an arms race in outer space, and that this contributed to a better
understanding of a number of problems and to a clearer perception of the
various positions,
 
      Regretting the inability of the Conference on Disarmament to
re-establish the Ad Hoc Committee in 1996,
 
      Emphasizing the mutually complementary nature of bilateral and
multilateral efforts in the field of preventing an arms race in outer space,
and hoping that concrete results will emerge from those efforts as soon as
possible,
 
      Convinced that further measures should be examined in the search for
effective and verifiable bilateral and multilateral agreements in order to
prevent an arms race in outer space, including the weaponization of outer
space,
 
      Stressing that the growing use of outer space increases the need for
greater transparency and better information on the part of the international
community,
 
      Recalling in this context its previous resolutions, in particular
resolutions 45/55 B of 4 December 1990, 47/51 of 9 December 1992 and 48/74 A
of 16 December 1993, in which, inter alia, it reaffirmed the importance of
confidence-building measures as means conducive to ensuring the attainment of
the objective of the prevention of an arms race in outer space,
 
      Conscious of the benefits of confidence- and security-building measures
in the military field,
 
      Recognizing that the conclusion of an international agreement or
agreements to prevent an arms race in outer space remains the fundamental task
of the Ad Hoc Committee and that the concrete proposals on confidence-building
measures could form an integral part of such agreements,
 
      1.    Reaffirms the importance and urgency of preventing an arms race in
outer space, and the readiness of all States to contribute to that common
objective, in conformity with the provisions 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;
 
      2.    Reaffirms its recognition, as stated in the report of the Ad Hoc
Committee on the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space, that the legal
regime applicable to outer space by itself does not guarantee the prevention
of an arms race in outer space, that this legal regime plays a significant
role in the prevention of an arms race in that environment, that there is a
need to consolidate and reinforce that regime and enhance its effectiveness,
and that it is important strictly to comply with existing agreements, both
bilateral and multilateral;
 
      3.    Emphasizes the necessity of further measures with appropriate and
effective provisions for verification to prevent an arms race in outer space;
 
      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 of the prevention of an arms race in outer space and to
refrain from actions contrary to that objective and to the relevant existing
treaties in the interest of maintaining international peace and security and
promoting international cooperation;
 
      5.    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;
 
      6.    Requests the Conference on Disarmament to re-establish the Ad Hoc
Committee with a negotiating mandate at the beginning of its 1997 session,
taking into account the work undertaken since 1985, with a view to conducting
negotiations for the conclusion of an agreement or agreements, as appropriate,
to prevent an arms race in outer space in all its aspects;
 
      7.    Recognizes, in this respect, the growing convergence of views on
the elaboration of measures designed to strengthen transparency, confidence
and security in the peaceful uses of outer space;
 
      8.    Urges States conducting activities in outer space, as well as
States interested in conducting such activities, to keep the Conference on
Disarmament informed of the progress of bilateral or multilateral negotiations
relating to the prevention of an arms race in outer space, if any, so as to
facilitate its work;
 
      9.    Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-second
session the item entitled "Prevention of an arms race in outer space".