United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

General Assembly Resolution 2601 (XXIV)
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RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

2601 (XXIV). International co-operation in the peaceful uses of outer space

A

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 2453 (XXIII) of 20 December 1968,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space,1

Reaffirming the common interest of mankind in furthering the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes,

Convinced of the need for increasing efforts to promote applications of space technology for the benefit of non-space Powers, particularly developing countries,

Believing that the benefits of space exploration can be extended to States at all stages of economic and scientific development if Member States conduct their space programmes in a matter designed to promote the maximum international co-operation and widest possible exchange of information in this field,

1.    Endorses the recommendations and decisions2 contained in the report of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space;

2.    Requests the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to continue to study questions relative to the definition of outer space and the utilization of outer space and celestial bodies, including various implications of space communications, as well as those comments which may be brought to the attention of the Committee by specialized agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency as a result of their examination of problems that have arisen or that may arise from the use of outer space in the fields within their competence;

3.    Invites those countries which have not yet become 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 and the Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space to give consideration to ratifying or acceding to those agreements so that they may have the broadest possible effect;

4.    Reaffirms its belief, as expressed in its resolution 1721 D (XVI) of 20 December 1961, that communication by means of satellites should be available to the nations of the world as soon as practicable on a global and non-discriminatory basis, and recommends that States parties to negotiations regarding international arrangements in the field of satellite communication should constantly bear this principle in mind so that its ultimate realization may not be impaired;

5.    Takes note with appreciation of the reports of the Working Group on Direct Broadcast Satellites on its first session3 and its second session4 and requests the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, at its first 1970 session, to consider the agenda for the session of the working Group to be held in 1970 which is to deal with the implications of direct broadcast satellites in social, cultural, legal and other areas;

6.    Welcomes the decision of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to promote more energetically the application of space technology as set out in paragraph 15 of its report, and in paragraphs 22 to 31 of the report of the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee;5

7.    Welcomes the decision of the Secretary-General to provide the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space at an early date with a report on the Secretariat arrangements in the field of outer space, bearing in mind the need to achieve optimum co-ordination in the work of the Secretariat to promote co-operation in the peaceful uses of outer space;

8.    Endorses the recommendation of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space for the appointment by the Secretary-General of a qualified individual with the full-time task of promoting the practical applications of space technology;6

9.    Welcomes the efforts of Member States to share with other interested Member States the space venture and the practical benefits which may be derived from their programmes in space technology;

10.    Welcomes the efforts of Member States to keep the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space fully informed of their activities and invites all Member States to do so;

11.    Approves sponsorship by the United Nations of the CELPA Mar del Plata Station7 in accordance with General Assembly resolution 1802 (XVII) of 14 December 1962 and recommends that Member States should give consideration to the use of these facilities for appropriate space research activities;

12.    Approves continuing sponsorship by the United Nations of the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station and recommends that Member States should give consideration to the use of these facilities for appropriate space research activities;

13.    Notes with appreciation that, in accordance with resolution 1721 B (XVI) of 20 December 1961, the Secretary-General continues to maintain a public registry of objects launched into orbit or beyond on the basis of information furnished by Member States;

14.    Requests the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the International Telecommunications Union and other interested specialized agencies, the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property, as well as the broadcasting organizations of the type mentioned in paragraph 45 of the report by the working Group on Direct Broadcast Satellites on it second session, to prepare reports as suggested by the Working Group as basic documents for the work of that Group at its session in May 1970;

15.    Requests the specialized agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency to examine the particular problems which arise or which may arise from the use of outer space in the fields within their competence and which should in their opinion be brought to the attention of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, and to report thereon to the Committee for its consideration, as indicated in paragraph 2 above;

16.    Invites the specialized agencies concerned and the International Atomic Energy Agency to furnish the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space with progress reports on their work in the field of the peaceful use of outer space;

17.    Requests the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to continue its work as set out in the present resolution and in previous General Assembly resolutions, and to report to the Assembly at its twenty-fifth session.

1836th plenary meeting,
16 December 1969

 

B

The General Assembly,

Recognizing the importance of international co-operation in developing the rule of law in the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space,

Confirming the terms of reference assigned to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in General Assembly resolution 1721 E(XVI) of 20 December 1961,

Recalling that in its resolution 1963 (XVIII) of 13 December 1963, 2130 (XX) of 21 December 1965 and 2222 (XXI) of 19 December 1966 it requested the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to prepare a draft agreement on liability for damage caused by objects launched into outer space,

Recalling further that in its resolution 2345 (XXII) of 19 December 1967, in which it commended the Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space, it also called upon the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to complete urgently the preparation of the draft agreement on liability,

Recalling also its resolution 2453 B (XXIII) of 20 December 1968 in which it requested the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to complete urgently the preparation of the draft agreement on liability,

Noting that various proposals have been submitted to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and that a considerable number of provisions have been agreed upon in its Legal Sub-Committee,

1.    Regrets that the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space has not yet been able to complete the drafting of a liability convention, a task assigned to it by the General Assembly during the last six years;

2.    Takes note with appreciation of the efforts made by the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space at its twelfth session to complete the preparation of this draft with a view to its submission to the General Assembly at its twenty-fourth session;

3.    Notes that a certain rapprochement of views was achieved in the negotiations on the draft convention on liability in 1969;

4.    Expresses its deep dissatisfaction that efforts to complete the convention have not been successful and, at the same time, urges the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to complete the draft convention on liability in time for final consideration by the General Assembly during its twenty-fifth session;

5.    Emphasizes that the convention is intended to establish international rules and procedures concerning liability for damage caused by the launching of objects into outer space and to ensure, in particular, prompt and equitable compensation for damage.

1836th plenary meeting,
16 December 1969

 

 

Notes

1.   Official Record of the General Assembly, Twenty-fourth session, Supplement No. 21 (A/7621) and Supplement No. 21A (A/7621/Add.1)

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2.   Ibid., Supplement No. 21 (A/7621), chapter II.

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3.   Ibid., Supplement No. 21A (A/7621/Add.1), annex III.

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4.   Ibid., annex IV.

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5.   Ibid., Supplement No. 21 (A/7621), annex II.

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6.   Ibid., Supplement No. 21 (A/7621), para 12.

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7.   Ibid., Supplement No. 21A (A/7621/Add.1), paras. 9-11.

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