United Nations

A/RES/51/44


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

7 January 1997

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



Fifty-first session
Agenda item 70


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

           [on the report of the First Committee (A/51/566/Add.10)]


              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, 1/ 

      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, 2/ 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, 3/ 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; 1/

      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".

                                                          79th plenary meeting
                                                              10 December 1996

                                     Notes

1/    Resolution 2222 (XXI), annex.

2/    Resolution S-10/2.

3/    Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-ninth Session,
Supplement No. 27 (A/49/27), sect. III.D (para. 5 of the quoted text).

 

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Date last posted: 10 January 2000 10:55:20
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