United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

General Assembly Resolution 42/68
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RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

42/68. International co-operation in the peaceful uses of outer space

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 41/64 of 3 December 1986,

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 and their important role in international co-operation for the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes,

Commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the first launching into orbit of a man-made object, Sputnik, which marked the beginning of the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes and of international co-operation in this field,

Commemorating also the twentieth anniversary of the entry into force 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 which has played and continues to play a positive role in the implementation of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and in the progressive development of the law of outer space, including the elaboration and adoption of other international instruments governing the outer space activities of States,

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 use 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-General2 on the implementation of the recommendations of the Second United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space,3

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on the work of its thirtieth session,4

1.    Endorses the report of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space;5

2.    Invites States that have not yet become parties to the international treaties governing the uses of outer space6 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-sixth session, in its working groups, continued its work as mandated by the General Assembly in its resolution 41/64;7

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

(a)    Continue the elaboration of draft principles relevant to the use of nuclear power sources in outer space through its working group;

(b)    Continue, through its working group, 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.    Requests the Legal Sub-Committee to finalize the choice of a new item for its agenda, taking into account the proposal made by the Group of 77 and other proposals, in order to begin its consideration of the item at its twenty-seventh session;

6.    Notes that the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space at its twenty-fourth session continued its work as mandated by the General Assembly in its resolution 41/64;8

7.    Endorses the recommendations of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space that the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee at its twenty-fifth 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;9

    (iii)    Matters relating to remote sensing of the Earth by satellites, including, inter alia, applications for developing countries;

    (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; examination of its utilization and applications, including, inter alia, in the field of space communications, as well as other questions relating to space communications developments, taking particular account of the needs and interests of developing countries;

    (iii)    Matters relating to life sciences, including space medicine;

    (iv)    Progress in the geosphere-biosphere (global change) programme; the Committee on Space Research and the International Astronautical Federation should be invited to present reports and arrange a special presentation on this subject;

    (v)     Matters relating to planetary exploration;

    (vi)    Matters relating to astronomy;

    (vii)   The theme fixed for the special attention of the 1988 session of the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee: "Microgravity experiments in space and their applications"; the Committee on Space Research and the International Astronautical Federation should be invited to arrange a symposium, with as wide a participation as possible, on the theme "Microgravity Experiments in Space and Their Applications", to be held during the first week of the Sub-Committee's session, after the adjournment of its meetings, to complement discussions within the Sub-Committee;

8.    Considers, in the context of paragraph 7 (a) (ii) above, that it is particularly urgent to implement the following recommendations:

(a)    All countries should have the opportunity to use the techniques resulting from medical studies in space;

(b)    Data banks at the national and regional levels should be strengthened and expanded and an international space information service should be established to function as a centre of co-ordination;

(c)    The United Nations should support the creation of adequate training centres at the regional level, linked, whenever possible, to institutions implementing space programmes; necessary funding for the development of such centres should be made available through financial institutions;

(d)    The United Nations should organize a fellowship programme through which selected graduates or post-graduates from developing countries should get in-depth, long-term exposure to space technology or applications; it is also desirable to encourage the availability of opportunities for such exposures on other bilateral and multilateral bases outside the United Nations system;

9.    Endorses the recommendation of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space that the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee should re-establish, at its twenty-fifth session, the Working Group of the Whole to Evaluate the Implementation of the Recommendations of the Second United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, with a view to improving the execution of activities relating to international co-operation, particularly those included in the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, and to proposing concrete steps to increase such co-operation as well as to make it more efficient;

10.    Endorses the recommendations of the Working Group of the Whole, as endorsed by the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and as contained in paragraphs 11 to 13 of the report of the Working Group of the Whole;10

11.    Endorses the recommendation of and the agreements reached in the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee with respect to the use of nuclear power sources in outer space, contained in paragraphs 55 to 63 of the report on the work of its twenty-fourth session,11 as endorsed by the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in paragraph 58 of its report;12

12.    Decides that, during the twenty-fifth session of the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee, the Working Group on the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space shall be reconvened to conduct additional work on the basis of its previous reports and of subsequent reports of the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee;

13.    Endorses the United Nations Programme on Space Applications for 1988, as proposed to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space by the Expert on Space Applications;13

14.    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;

15.    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;

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

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

18.    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;

19.    Takes note of the views expressed and documents circulated during the thirtieth session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and during the forty-second session of the General Assembly concerning ways and means of maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes;

20.    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-third session;

21.    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 Radio Regulations of the Union applicable to space services;

22.    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;

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

24.    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;

25.    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-third session, including its views on which subjects should be studied in the future.

89th plenary meeting
2 December 1987

 

 

Note

1.   Resolution 2222 (XVI), annex.

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2.   A/42/518 and Corr.1.

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3.   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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4.   Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-second Session, Supplement No. 20 (A/42/20).

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5.   Ibid..

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6.   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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7.   Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-second Session, Supplement No. 20 (A/42/20), sect. C.

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8.   Ibid., sect. B.

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9.   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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10.   Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-second Session, Supplement No. 20 (A/42/20), annex II.

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11.   A/Ac.105/383 and Corr.1

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12.   Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-second Session, Supplement No. 20 (A/42/20)

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13.   See A/AC.105/380, sect. III.

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