United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

General Assembly Resolution 40/162
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RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

40/162. International co-operation in the peaceful uses of outer space

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 39/96 of 14 December 1984,

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, including the relevant norms of space law, for the advancement and preservation of the exploration and peaceful uses of outer space,

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

Recognizing that all States, in particular those with major space capabilities, should contribute actively to the goal of preventing an arms race in outer space as an essential condition for the promotion of international co-operation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes,

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 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 also of the report of the Secretary-General1 on the implementation of the recommendations of the Second United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space,2

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on the work of its twenty-eighth session,3

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 space4 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-fourth session, in its working groups, continued:

(a)    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)    Its consideration of the possibility of supplementing the norms of international law relevant to the use of nuclear power sources in outer space;

(c)    Its consideration of matters relating to the definition and delimitation of outer space and to the character and utilization of the geostationary orbit, including consideration of ways and means to ensure the rational and equitable use of the geostationary orbit without prejudice to the role of the International Telecommunication Union;

4.    Endorses the recommendation of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space that the Legal Sub-Committee at its twenty-fifth session should, taking into account the concerns of all countries, particularly those of developing countries, in its working groups:

(a)    Continue its detailed consideration of the legal implications of remote sensing of the Earth from space, with the aim of finalizing the draft set of principles;

(b)    Undertake the elaboration of draft principles relevant to the use of nuclear power sources in outer space;

(c)    Continue its consideration of matters relating to the definition and delimitation of outer space and to the character and utilization of the geostationary orbit, including consideration of ways and means to ensure the rational and equitable use of the geostationary orbit without prejudice to the role of the International Telecommunication Union;

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

(a)    Its consideration of 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;5

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

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

(b)    Its consideration of 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;

6.    Endorses the recommendation of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space that the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee at its twenty-third session, taking into account the concerns of all countries, particularly those of developing countries, 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;6

    (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;

7.    Endorses further the recommendations of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space:

(a)    That there should be a continued consideration in the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee of the item relating to life sciences, including space medicine;

(b)    That, for the twenty-third session of the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee, the Committee on Space Research and the International Astronautical Federation should be invited to submit reports and arrange a special presentation on progress in the geosphere-biosphere programme;

(c)    That the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee should, at its twenty-third session, give special attention to the theme "Remote sensing for developing countries" selected in accordance with the procedure recommended by the Sub-Committee at its twenty-second session and that the Committee on Space Research and the International Astronautical Federation should be invited to make presentations in accordance with this theme;

8.    Endorses the United Nations Programme on Space Applications for 1986, as proposed to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space by the Expert on Space Applications;7

9.    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;8

10.    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;9

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

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

13.    Urges all States, in particular those with major space capabilities, to contribute actively to the goal of preventing an arms race in outer space as an essential condition for the promotion of international co-operation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes;

14.    Takes note of the views expressed and documents circulated during the twenty-eighth session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space10 and during the fortieth session of the General Assembly11 concerning ways and means of maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes;

15.    Requests the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to continue to consider, as a matter of priority, ways and means of maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its forty-first session;

16.    Endorses the recommendation of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space that the following three studies proposed by the Second United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space should, together with the comments made thereon during the twenty-second session of the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee, be called to the attention of Governments of all Member States, specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system:

(a)    Assistance to countries in studying their remote-sensing needs and assessing appropriate systems for meeting such needs;

(b)    The feasibility of using direct broadcasting satellites for educational purposes and of internationally or regionally owned space segments;

(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;

17.    Further endorses the recommendation of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space with regard to possible further studies as set out in paragraph 48 of the report of the Committee, bearing in mind, in particular, the needs of the developing countries;12

18.    Endorses the decision of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to grant, at their request, permanent observer status to the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT) and to the International System and Organization of Space Communications (INTERSPUTNIK);13

19.    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;

20.    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;

21.    Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its forty-first session on the implementation of the recommendations of the Conference;

22.    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;

23.    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 forty-first session, including its views on which subjects should be studied in the future.

118th plenary meeting
16 December 1985

 

 

Note

1.   A/40/621 and Corr.1.

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2.   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 and 2).

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3.   Official Records of the General Assembly, Fortieth Session, Supplement No. 20 (A/40/20 and Corr.1).

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4.   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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5.   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 and 2).

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6.   Ibid..

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7.   See A/AC.105/348, paras. 39.

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8.   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 and 2).

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9.   Ibid., paras 353.

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10.   See A/AC.105/PV.266-279.

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11.   See A/SPC/40/SR.37-46.

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12.   Official Records of the General Assembly, Fortieth Session, Supplement No. 20 (A/40/20 and Corr.1).

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13.   Ibid., para. 7.

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