Magazine article UN Chronicle

All States Urged to Prevent Arms Race in Outer Space and to Promote International Co-Operation

Magazine article UN Chronicle

All States Urged to Prevent Arms Race in Outer Space and to Promote International Co-Operation

Article excerpt

All States urged to prevent arms race in outer space and to promote international co-operation

All States, in particular those with major space capabilities, have been urged by the General Assembly 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."

The approval of resolution 40/162, sponsored by Austria, was recommended by the Special Political Committee. The plenary adopted the text on 16 December without a vote.

Under other provisions, the Assembly: asked the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to continue to consider, as a matter of priority, ways to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes; called on that body and its two Sub-Committees--one on legal matters, the other on scientific and technical topics--to continue their tasks. States not yet party to international treaties governing the uses of outer space were invited to consider ratifying or acceding to those treaties.

The Assembly endorsed the Outer Space Committee recommendation that it Legal Sub-Committee should continue considering the legal implications of remote sensing of the Earth from space, with the aim of finalizing the draft set of principles relating to remote sensing. That subsidiary body was also to elaborate draft principles relevant to the use of nuclear power sources in outer space, and to consider the definition and delimitation of outer space and the character and use of the geostationary orbit.

In connection with the Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee's consideration of the implementation of the recommendation of the Second United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE 82), the urgent implementation of certain recommendations of that Conference was called for, namely that:

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

--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 coordination; and

--The United Nations should support the creation of adequate space training centres at the regional level and necessary funding for the development of such centres should be made available through financial institutions and the organization of a fellowship programme for candidates from developing countries for "in-depth, longterm exposure" to space technology or applications. (For details of UNISPACE 82 recommendations, see UN Chronicle 1982, No.9.)

The Space Committee's Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee was also to give priority consideration to the United Nations Programme on Space Applications and the coordination of space activities within the United Nations system, questions relating to remote sensing of the Earth by satellite and use of nuclear power sensing in outer space. The Sub-Committee was also to continue consideration of space transportation systems, the geostationary orbit and life sciences, including space medicine, and give special attention to the theme "Remote sensing for developing countries."

The Assembly also endorsed the granting of permanent observe status in the Outer Space Committee to the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization and the International System and Organization of Space Communications. It affirmed that the interference new satellite systems might cause to systems already registered with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) should not exceed the limits specified in relevant provisions of the ITU Radio Regulations applicable to space services.

Reports: The Special Political Committee reviewed a number of documents relating to outer space activities, including the report of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (A/40/20) on its twenty-eighth session (17-28 June 1985); a report of the Secretary-General on implementation of UNISPACE 82 recommendations (A/40/621); and a 13 November 1985 letter from the USSR to the Secretary-General (A/SPC/40/3) containing proposals "concerning main lines and principles of international cooperation in the peaceful exploitation of outer space under conditions of its non-militarization". …

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