United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

General Assembly Resolution 38/80
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RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

38/80. International co-operation in the peaceful uses of outer space

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 37/89 and 37/90 of 10 December 1982,

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 of the importance of international co-operation in this field, for which the United Nations should continue to provide a focal point,

Reaffirming the importance of international co-operation in developing the rule of law for the advancement and preservation of the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space,

Gravely concerned at the extension of the arms race into outer space,

Aware of 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 mankind, in particular the peoples of developing countries,

Taking note with satisfaction of the progress achieved in the further development of peaceful space exploration and application as well as in various national and co-operative space projects, which contribute to international co-operation in this field,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 37/90,1

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on the work of its twenty-sixth session,2

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 use of outer space3 to give consideration to ratifying or acceding to those treaties;

3.    Notes that the Legal Sub-Committee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space at its twenty-second session continued:

(a)    Its efforts to formulate draft principles relating to the legal implications of remote sensing of the earth from space;

(b)    Its consideration of the possibility of supplementing the norms of international law relevant to the use of nuclear power sources in outer space through its working group;

(c)    Its discussion of matters relating to the definition and/or delimitation of outer space and outer space activities, bearing in mind, inter alia, questions relating to the geostationary orbit;

4.    Notes with satisfaction the successful efforts of the Legal Sub-Committee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in elaborating an agreed text concerning the format and the procedure for notification in case of malfunction of a spacecraft carrying a nuclear power source on board;

5.    Decides that the Legal Sub-Committee at its twenty-third session should:

(a)    Continue, on a priority basis, its detailed consideration of the legal implications of remote sensing of the earth from space, with the aim of formulating draft principles relating to remote sensing;

(b)    Continue its consideration of the possibility of supplementing the norms of international law relevant to the use of nuclear power sources in outer space through its working group;

(c)    Establish a working group to consider, on a priority basis, matters relating to the definition and delimitation of outer space and to the character and utilization of the geostationary orbit, including the elaboration of general principles to govern the rational and equitable use of the geostationary orbit, a limited natural resource, and, to that end requests Member States to submit draft principles; in doing so, it would have to take account of the different legal regimes governing airspace and outer space, respectively, and the need for technical planning and legal regulation of the geostationary orbit;

6.    Notes that the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space at its twentieth session continued:

(a)    Its consideration of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications and the co-ordination of space activities within the United Nations system;

(b)    Its consideration of questions relating to remote sensing of the earth by satellites;

(c)    Its examination of the physical nature and technical attributes of the geostationary orbit;

(d)    Its consideration of technical aspects and safety measures relating to the use of nuclear power sources in outer space;

(e)    Its consideration of questions relating to space transportation systems and their implications for future activities in space;

(f)    Its consideration of the implementation of the recommendations of the Second United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space;4

7.    Endorses the recommendation of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space that the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee at its twenty-first session should:

(a)    Consider the following items on a priority basis:

    (i)      United Nations Programme on Space Applications and the co-ordination 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;

    (iii)    Questions relating to remote sensing of the earth by satellites;

    (iv)    Use of nuclear power sources in outer space;

(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;

8.    Endorses further the recommendation of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space that, during the twenty-first session of the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee, the Working Group on the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space should be reconvened to conduct additional work on the basis of the report of the Working Group on the work of its third session;5

9.    Endorses the United Nations Programme on Space Applications for 1984, as proposed to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space by the Expert on Space Applications;

10.    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 as early as possible;

11.    Reaffirms its approval of the recommendation of the Conference regarding the establishment and strengthening of regional mechanisms of co-operation and their promotion and creation through the United Nations system;

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

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

14.    Calls upon all States, in particular those with major space capabilities, to undertake prompt negotiations, under the auspices of the United Nations, with a view to reaching agreement or agreements designed to halt the militarization of outer space and to prevent an arms race in outer space, thus contributing to the achievement of the internationally accepted goal of ensuring the use of outer space exclusively for peaceful purposes;

15.    Requests the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to consider, as a matter of priority, the questions relating to the militarization of outer space, taking into account that, in General Assembly resolution 37/83 of 9 December 1982, the Committee on Disarmament6 was requested to consider as a matter of priority the question of preventing an arms race in outer space, and also taking into account the need to co-ordinate the efforts of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and the Committee on Disarmament;

16.    Requests the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-ninth session on the outcome of its consideration of the subject referred to in paragraph 15 above;

17.    Endorses the recommendation of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space that, of the study projects proposed by the United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, the following three studies be carried out on a priority basis:

(a)    Assistance to countries in studying their remote-sensing needs and assessing appropriate systems for meeting such needs (United Nations, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Development Programme, and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations);

(b)    The feasibility of using direct broadcasting satellites for educational purposes and of internationally or regionally owned space segments (United Nations, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and International Telecommunication Union);

(c)    The feasibility of obtaining closer spacing of satellites in the geostationary orbit and their satisfactory coexistence, including a closer examination of techno-economic implications, particularly for developing countries, in order to ensure the most effective utilization of this orbit in the interest of all countries (United Nations, International Telecommunication Union and other organizations);

18.    Approves the recommendations of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space concerning the procedures for carrying out these studies;

19.    Decides that the United Nations should bear the travel and per diem expenses of the experts to be appointed by the Secretary-General for carrying out the studies referred to in paragraph 17 above;

20.    Affirms that the interference that satellite systems to be newly established may cause to systems already registered with the International Telecommunication Union shall not exceed the limits specified in the relevant provision of the International Telecommunication Union radio regulations applicable to space services;

21.    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 co-operate in the implementation of the recommendations of the Conference;

22.    Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-ninth session on the implementation of the recommendations of the Conference;

23.    Requests the specialized agencies and other international organizations to continue and, where appropriate, enhance their co-operation with the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and to provide it with progress reports on their work relating to the peaceful uses of outer space;

24.    Takes note of the invitation by the Government of Austria to hold the twenty-seventh session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space at Vienna;

25.    Decides to convene the twenty-seventh session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space at Vienna from 11 to 22 June 1984;

26.    Requests the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space 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 thirty-ninth session, including its views on which subjects should be studied in the future.

98th plenary meeting
15 December 1983

 

 

Note

1.   A/38/412.

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2.   Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 20 (A/38/20).

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

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4.   See Report of the Second United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, Vienna, 9-12 August 1982 (A/CONF.101/10 and Corr.1)

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5.   A/AC.105/287, annex II.

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6.   From 7 February 1984, the date of commencement of its annual session, the Committee on Disarmament is to be known as the "Conference on Disarmament" (see Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 27 (A/38/27), para 21).

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