News

UNITED NATIONS
GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Fifty-fourth session
First Committee
Resolution
22 October 1999

Introduced by:  Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussaiam, Chile, China, Cuba, 
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Kenya, 
Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka 
and Sudan:

PREVENTION OF AN ARMS RACE IN OUTER SPACE

The General Assembly,

Recognizing the common interest of all mankind in the exploration and use of 
outer space for peaceful purposes,

Reaffirming the will of all States that the exploration and use of outer 
space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, shall be for peaceful 
purposes and shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all 
countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development,

Reaffirming also the provisions of articles III and IV 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,

Recalling the obligation of all States to observe the provisions of the 
Charter of the United Nations regarding the use or threat of use of force in 
their international relations, including in their space activities,

Reaffirming paragraph 80 of the Final Document of the Tenth Special Session 
of the General Assembly, in which it is stated that in order to prevent an 
arms race in outer space further measures should be taken and appropriate 
international negotiations held in accordance with the spirit of the Treaty,

Recalling its previous resolutions on this issue, and taking note of the 
proposals submitted to the General Assembly at its tenth special session and 
its regular sessions, and of the recommendations made to the competent organs 
of the United Nations and to the Conference on Disarmament,

Recognizing that prevention of an arms race in outer space would avert a 
grave danger for international peace and security,

Emphasizing the paramount importance of strict compliance with existing arms 
limitation and disarmament agreements relevant to outer space, including 
bilateral agreements, and with the existing legal regime concerning the use 
of outer space,

Considering that wide participation in the legal regime applicable to outer 
space could contribute to enhancing its effectiveness.

Noting that the Ad Hoc Committee on the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer 
Space, taking into account its previous efforts since its establishment in 
1985 and seeking to enhance its functioning in qualitative terms, continued 
the examination and identification of various issues, existing agreements and 
existing proposals, as well as future initiative relevant to the prevention 
of an arms race in outer space, and that this contributed to a better 
understanding of a number of problems and to a clearer perception of the 
various positions.

Noting also that there were no objections in principle in the Conference on 
Disarmament to the re-establishment of the Ad Hoc Committee, subject to 
re-examination of the mandate contained in the decision of the Conference on 
Disarmament of 13 February 1992,

Emphasizing the mutually complementary nature of bilateral and multilateral 
efforts in the field of preventing an arms race in outer space, and hoping 
that concrete results will emerge from those efforts as soon as possible,

Convinced that further measures should be examined in the search for 
effective and verifiable bilateral and multilateral agreements in order to 
prevent an arms race in outer space, including the weaponization of outer 
space,

Stressing that the growing use of outer space increases the need for greater 
transparency and better information on the part of the international 
community,

Recalling in this context its previous resolutions, in particular resolutions 
45/55 B of 4 December 1990, 47/51 of 9 December 1992 and 48/74 A of 16 
December 1993, in which, inter alia, it reaffirmed the importance of 
confidence-building measures as means conducive to ensuring the attainment of 
the objective of the prevention of an arms race in outer space,

Conscious of  the benefits of confidence-and security-building measures in 
the military field,

Recognizing that negotiations for the conclusion of an international 
agreement or agreements to prevent an arms race in outer space remain a 
priority task of the Ad Hoc Committee and that the concrete proposals on 
confidence-building measures could form an integral part of such agreements,

1)  Reaffirms the importance and urgency of preventing an arms race in outer 
space, and the readiness of all States to contribute to that common 
objective, in conformity with the provisions 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;

2)  Reaffirms its recognition, as stated in the report of the Ad Hoc 
Committee on the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space, that the legal 
regime applicable to outer space by itself does not guarantee the prevention 
of an arms race in outer space, that this legal regime plays a significant 
role in the prevention of an arms race in that environment, that there is a 
need to consolidate and reinforce that regime and enhance its effectiveness, 
and that it is important to comply strictly with existing agreements, both 
bilateral and multilateral;

3)  Emphasizes the necessity of further measures with appropriate and 
effective provisions for verification to prevent an arms race in outer space;

4)  Calls upon all States, in particular those with major space capabilities, 
to contribute actively to the objective of the peaceful use of outer space 
and of the prevention of an arms race in outer space and to refrain from 
actions contrary to that objective and to the relevant existing treaties in 
the interest of maintaining international peace and security and promoting 
international cooperation;

5)  Reiterates that the Conference on Disarmament, as the single multilateral 
disarmament negotiating forum, has the primary role in the negotiation of a 
multilateral agreement or agreements, as appropriate, on the prevention of an 
arms race in outer space in all its aspects;

6)  Invites the Conference on Disarmament to complete the examination and 
updating of the mandate contained in its decision of 13 February 1992 and to 
establish an ad hoc committee at the earliest during the 2000 session of the 
Conference on Disarmament;

7)  Recognizes, in this respect, the growing convergence of views on the 
elaboration of measures designed to strengthen transparency, confidence and 
security in the peaceful uses of outer space;

8)  Urges States conducting activities in outer space, as well as States 
interested in conducting such activities, to keep the Conference on 
Disarmament informed of the progress of bilateral and multilateral 
negotiations on the matter, if any, so as to facilitate its work;

9)  Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-fifth session 
the item entitled "Prevention of an arms race in outer space".