United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

General Assembly Resolution 2733 (XXV)
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RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

2733 (XXV). International co-operation in the peaceful uses of outer space

A

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 2453 B (XXIII) of 20 December 1968 whereby it established a Working Group of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to study and report on the technical feasibility of communication by direct broadcast from satellites and the current and foreseeable developments in this field, as well as the implications of such developments in the social, cultural, legal and other areas,

Taking note with appreciation of the reports prepared by the Working Group on Direct Broadcast Satellites during its three sessions,1

Noting that the first satellite-borne instructional television experiment for direct reception into community receivers will be undertaken in India as early as 1973/1974, thereby making it possible to enrich life in isolated communities,

Noting that the potential benefits of satellite broadcasting have particular significance with regard to better understanding among peoples, the expansion of the flow of information and the wider dissemination of knowledge in the world, and the promotion of cultural exchanges,

Recognizing that the use of satellite-borne television for educational and training purposes, particularly in developing countries, can in many instances contribute towards national programmes of integration and community development and economic, social and cultural development in such areas as formal and adult education, agriculture, health and family planning,

Taking note of the concern of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in considering the practical interest of all States, in particular the interests of the developing countries, regarding the efficient use of the geostationary orbit and the frequency spectrum,

Recognizing that the effective deployment and use of direct satellite broadcasting requires large-scale international and regional co-operation and that further consideration may have to be given to the legal principles applicable in this field,

Endorsing the Working Group�s conclusions on the applicability to such broadcasting of certain existing international legal instruments, including the Charter of the United Nations, 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 applicable provisions of the International Telecommunication Convention2 and Radio Regulations,

1.    Recommends, on the basis of the probable patterns of use of satellite broadcasting systems outlined by the Working Group on Direct Broadcast Satellites of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, that Member States, regional and international organizations, including broadcasting associations, should promote and encourage international co-operation at regional and other levels in order, inter alia, to allow all participating parties to share in the establishment and operation of regional satellite broadcasting services and/or in programme planning and production;

2.    Draws the attention of Member States, specialized agencies and other interested international organizations to the potential benefits to be derived from direct broadcast satellite services, especially in developing countries, for improving their communications infrastructure, thereby contributing to general economic and social development;

3.    Recommends, with a view to making available the benefits of this new technology to countries, regardless of the degree of their social and economic development, that Member States, the United Nations Development Programme and other international agencies should promote international co-operation in this field in order to assist interested countries to develop the skills and techniques that may be necessary for its application;

4.    Requests the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to keep under review the question of reconvening the Working Group on Direct Broadcast Satellites at such time as additional material of substance on which further useful studies might be based may have become available;

5.    Recommends that the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space should study through its Legal Sub-Committee, giving priority to the convention on liability, the work carried out by the Working Group on Direct Broadcast Satellites, under the item on the implications of space communications;

6.    Invites the International Telecommunication Union to continue to take the necessary steps to promote the use of satellite broadcasting services by Member States and to consider at the 1971 World Administrative Radio Conference for Space Telecommunications the appropriate provisions under which satellite broadcasting services may be established;

7.    Requests the International Telecommunication Union to transmit, when available, to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space all information about the use of the geostationary orbit and the frequency spectrum;

8.    Invites the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to continue to promote the use of satellite broadcasting for the advancement of education and training, science and culture and, in consultation with appropriate intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and broadcasting associations, to direct its efforts towards the solution of problems falling within its mandate.

1932nd plenary meeting,
16 December 1970

 

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,

Recalling that, in its resolutions 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 convention on liability for damage caused by objects launched into outer space,

Recalling that in its resolution 2345 (XXII) of 19 December 1967, in which it recommended 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 draft convention on liability,

Recalling also its resolution 2453 B (XXIII) or 20 December 1968, in which it requested the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to complete urgently the draft convention on liability and to submit it to the General Assembly at its twenty-fourth session,

Recalling further its resolution 2601 B (XXIV) of 16 December 1969, in which it urged 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 and emphasized that the convention was 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,

Affirming that until an effective convention is concluded an unsatisfactory situation will exist in which the remedies for damage caused by space objects are inadequate for the needs of the nations and peoples of the world,

Aware that various proposals have been submitted to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and that a number of provisions have been agreed upon, although subject to certain conditions and reservations, in its Legal Sub-Committee,

1.    Takes note of the efforts made by the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its Legal Sub-Committee at their sessions in 1970 to complete the preparation of a draft convention on liability,3 for submission to the General Assembly at its current session;

2.    Expresses its deep regret that, notwithstanding some progress towards this objective, the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space has not yet been able to complete the drafting of a convention on liability, a subject which it has had under consideration for the past seven years;

3.    Affirms that the early conclusion of an effective and generally acceptable convention on liability should remain the firm priority task of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and urges the Committee to intensify its efforts to reach agreement;

4.    Notes in this connexion that the main obstacle to agreement lies in differences of opinion within the Committee on the Peaceful uses of Outer Space on two main issues: the legal rules to be applied for determining compensation payable to the victims of damage and procedures for the settlement of claims;

5.    Expresses the view that a condition of a satisfactory convention on liability is that it should contain provisions which would ensure the payment of a full measure of compensation to victims and effective procedures which would lead to the prompt and equitable settlement of claims;

6.    Urges the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to make a decisive effort to reach early agreement on texts embodying the principles outlined in paragraph 5 above with a view to submitting a draft convention on liability to the General Assembly at its twenty-sixth session.

1932nd plenary meeting,
16 December 1970

 

C

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 2600 (XXIV) and 2601 (XXIV) of 16 December 1969,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space,4

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

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

Convinced of the need for increased efforts to promote applications of space technology for the benefit of all countries, particularly the 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 manner designed to promote the maximum international co-operation, including the widest possible exchange and practical application of information in this field,

1.    Endorses the recommendations and decisions 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 States 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 shouldbe 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 be achieved;

5.    Welcomes the intensified efforts of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to encourage international programmes to promote such practical applications of space technology as earth resources surveying, for the benefit of both developed and developing countries, and commends to the attention of Member States, specialized agencies and interested United Nations bodies the new programmes and proposals to promote international benefits from space applications noted by the Committee in its report, such as the organization of technical panels, the utilization of internationally sponsored education and training opportunities in the practical applications of space technology and the conduct of experiments in the transfer of space-generated technology to non-space applications;

6.    Takes note of the recommendation of the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space that the travel and subsistence of participants in the technical panels mentioned in paragraph 5 above should be funded by their own Governments, but that the United Nations may give timely assistance in exceptional cases within the existing programmes of the United Nations where this appears necessary both to defray costs and to stimulate interest in special rates;

7.    Welcomes the efforts of Member States to share with other interested Member States the practical benefits which may be derived from their programmes in space technology, including earth resources surveying;

8.    Requests the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee, as authorized by the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, to determine at its next session whether, at what time and in what specific frame of reference to convene a working group on earth resources surveying, with special reference to satellites, and in so doing to take into account the importance of appropriate co-ordination with the Committee on Natural Resources, established under Economic and Social Council resolution 1535 (XLIX) of 27 July 1970;

9.    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;

10.    Notes with appreciation the report of the Expert on Applications of Space Technology concerning the promotion of space applications;5

11.    Recalls the recommendation6 that Member States give consideration to designating specific offices or individuals, within their Governments, as a point of contact for communications regarding the promotion of the application of space technology and thereafter inform the Secretary-General of such designations, and urges those Member States which have not yet designated a point of contact to do so;

12.    Takes notes of the report provided by the Secretary-General to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space concerning improved co-ordination of Secretariat activities in the field of outer space,7

13.    Endorses the suggestion of the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee that the Secretary-General should bring to the attention of Member States all relevant documents relating to applications of space technology submitted to the Sub-Committee by Member States, the United Nations, the specialized agencies and other bodies;

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

15.    Notes that, in accordance with General Assembly 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;

16.    Endorses the recommendation of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space that the Secretary-General be requested to issue an index of existing international instruments - conventions, treaties and agreements - relating to or bearing upon broadcasting satellite services;

17.    Requests the specialized agencies 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 uses of outer space, and to examine and report to the Committee on the particular problems which arise or 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;

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

1932nd plenary meeting,
16 December 1970

 

D

The General Assembly,

Concerned over the devastating and harmful effects of typhoons and storms in various parts of the world, particularly in Asia,

Believing that man�s present scientific and technical capabilities that have conquered space could help conquer this environmental scourge,

Recalling its resolutions 1721 (XVI) of 20 December 1961 and 1802 (XVII) of 14 December 1962, and noting the work being undertaken and progress achieved in response to them, as indicated by the world Meteorological Organization in its annual reports to the Committee on the Peaceful uses of Outer Space,

Noting further the co-ordinating role in this field of the joint Typhoon Committee of the World Meteorological Organization and the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East, the discussions on this subject held in that forum and the recent decision to transfer the Typhoon Committee secretariat to Manila,

1.    Recommends that the World Meteorological Organization take, if necessary, further appropriate action for pertinent resources from any or all nations with a view to obtaining basic meteorological data and discovering ways and means of mitigating the harmful effects of these storms and removing or minimizing their destructive potentials;

2.    Calls upon Member States to exert efforts within their means to implement fully the World Weather Watch plan of the World Meteorological Organization;

3.    Requests the world Meteorological Organization to submit a report through the Secretary-General to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space at its next session, and to such other United Nations bodies as may be appropriate, on the steps taken pursuant to the present and other resolutions.

1932nd plenary meeting,
16 December 1970

 

 

Notes

1.   See Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 21A (A/7621/Add.1), annexes III and IV; and ibid., Twenty-fifth Session, Supplement No. 20 (A/8020), paras. 48-59.

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2.   Signed at Montreux on 12 November 1965.

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3.   See Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-fifth Session, Supplement No. 20 (A/8020), annex IV.

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4.   Ibid., Supplement No. 20 (A/8020).

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5.   Ibid., annex II.

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6.   Ibid., Twenty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 21 (A/7621), annex II, para. 25.

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7.   Ibid., Twenty-fifth Session, Supplement No. 20 (A/8020), annex III.

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