United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs


1348 (XIII).    Question of the peaceful use of outer space

The General Assembly,

Recognizing the common interest of mankind in outer space and recognizing that it is the common aim that outer space should be used for peaceful purposes only,

Bearing in mind the provision of Article 2, paragraph 1, of the Charter of the United Nations, which states that the Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members,

Wishing to avoid the extension of present national rivalries into this new field,

Desiring to promote energetically the fullest exploration and exploitation of outer space for the benefit of mankind,

Conscious that recent developments in respect of outer space have added a new dimension to man's existence and opened new possibilities for the increase of his knowledge and the improvement of his life,

Noting the success of the scientific co-operative programme of the International Geophysical Year in the exploration of outer space and the decision to continue and expand this type of co-operation,

Recognizing the great importance of international cooperation in the study and utilization of outer space for peaceful purposes,

Considering that such co-operation will promote mutual understanding and the strengthening of friendly relations among peoples,

Believing that the development of programmes of international and scientific co-operation in the peaceful uses of outer space should be vigorously pursued,

Believing that progress in this field will materially help to achieve the aim that outer space should be used for peaceful purposes only,

Considering that an important contribution can be made by the establishment within the framework of the United Nations of an appropriate international body for co-operation in the study of outer space for peaceful purposes,

Desiring to obtain the fullest information on the many problems relating to the peaceful uses of outer space before recommending specific programmes of international co-operation in this field,

1.     Establishes an ad hoc Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space composed of the representatives of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Sweden, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Arab Republic, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America, and requests it to report to the General Assembly at its fourteenth session on the following:

(a)    The activities and resources of the United Nations, of its specialized agencies and of other international bodies relating to the peaceful uses of outer space;
(b)    The area of international co-operation and programmes in the peaceful uses of outer space which could appropriately be undertaken under United Nations auspices to the benefit of States irrespective of the state of their economic or scientific development, taking into account the following proposals, inter alia:
(i)    Continuation on a permanent basis of the outer space research now being carried on within the framework of the International Geophysical Year;
(ii)   Organization of the mutual exchange and dissemination of information on outer space research;
(iii)  Co-ordination of national research programmes for the study of outer space, and the rendering of all possible assistance and help towards their realization;
(c)    The future organizational arrangements to facilitate international co-operation in this field within the framework of the United Nations;
(d)    The nature of legal problems which may arise in the carrying out of programmes to explore outer space;

2.     Requests the Secretary-General to render appropriate assistance to the above-named Committee and to recommend any other steps that might be taken within the existing United Nations framework to encourage the fullest international co-operation for the peaceful uses of outer space.

792nd plenary meeting,
13 December 1958.

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