Fourth Committee Approves Draft Resolution on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, as Delegates Conclude General Debate

Militarization, Space Debris Still among Top Concerns, as Russian Federation Rejects Reported Effort to Bypass Recognized Entity

Acting without a vote, the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) approved a draft resolution today, concluding its general debate on international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.

By the terms of the draft resolution International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space (document A/C.4/74/L.7), the General Assembly urges States that have not yet become parties to the international treaties governing the uses of outer space to ratify or accede to them and to incorporate them into their national laws.

Further by the text, the Assembly urges all States, those with major space capabilities in particular, to contribute to the prevention of an arms race in outer space. It also urges the Inter-Agency Meeting on Outer Space Activities, under the leadership of the United Nations Secretariat’s Office for Outer Space Affairs, to continue to examine how space science and technology and their applications could contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

As the general debate concluded, speakers expressed concern over the risks of space debris, with the Permanent Observer for the Holy See describing it as a major threat to satellites. He cited the important role of satellites in development, saying they are essential for monitoring environmental disasters and useful in helping to provide aid and relief to disaster victims.

Pakistan’s representative expressed concern over reports about space debris created by an irresponsible anti-satellite weapon test conducted earlier in 2019. Criteria and procedures for active removal or international destruction of space objects must be thoroughly deliberated under United Nations auspices, he emphasized.

Russian Federation’s representative said his delegation categorically rejects attempts to replace the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space with informal platforms that lack an intergovernmental mandate. Discussions on its alleged lack of effectiveness are

Source: United Nations