29 October 2001


Fourth Committee, Making Proposal, Also Endorses
Supported Items for Agenda of Space Body and Subsidiaries

NEW YORK, 25 October (UN Headquarters) -- The General Assembly would decide that Cuba, Peru, the Republic of Korea and Malaysia should become full members of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, by the terms of a resolution approved by the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) this afternoon.

By that text, approved without a vote, the Assembly would terminate the practice of sharing seats between those countries. It would also decide that Saudi Arabia and Slovakia should become members of the outer space committee. Further, the Assembly would agree that after the current enlargement of that committee's membership, there would be no need to expand it further for the next seven years, except in special circumstances meriting consideration before that period elapsed.

The Assembly would, by other terms of the text, endorse the space committee's decision to grant permanent observer status to the European Association for the International Space Year, the National Space Society and the Space Generation Advisory Council.

By other terms, the General Assembly would urge all governments, United Nations organs, bodies, intergovernmental and non-governmental entities conducting space-related activities, to take the necessary action for the effective implementation of the resolution of UNISPACE III entitled, "The Space Millennium: Vienna Declaration on Space and Human Development".

According to that text, the Assembly would note with satisfaction that the space committee, at its forty-fourth session, established action teams under the voluntary leadership of Member States to implement the recommendations of UNISPACE III, which had been assigned highest priority and for which Member States had offered to lead activities.

Also by the text, the General Assembly would note that the chairman of the outer space committee had brought to the Secretary-General's attention the need to consider the contributions of space science and technology to a greater extent in achieving the objectives of major United Nations conferences, taking into particular account the needs of developing countries.

By further terms, the Assembly would emphasize the need to increase the benefits of space technology and its applications, and to contribute to an orderly growth of space activities favourable to sustained economic growth and sustainable development, including the mitigation of the consequences of disasters.

The General Assembly would also agree that a new item entitled "Space and society" should be included on the agenda of the outer space committee at its forty-fifth and forty-sixth sessions. It would invite the committee to expand the scope of international cooperation relating to the social, economic, ethical and human dimensions in space science and technology applications.

According to the text, the Assembly would endorse the outer space committee's recommendation that the Legal Subcommittee, at its forty-first session, consider: the status and application of the five United Nations treaties on outer space; matters relating to the definition and delimitation of outer space, and the character and utilization of the geostationary orbit, including ways to ensure its equitable use without prejudice to the role of the International Telecommunications Union.

The Assembly would also endorse the outer space committee's recommendation that the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, at its thirty-ninth session, consider, among other items: the United Nations Programme on Space Applications; implementation of the recommendations of the Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III); matters relating to remote-sensing of the Earth by satellites; use of nuclear power sources in outer space; implementation of an integrated, space-based global natural disaster management system; and examination of the physical nature and technical attributes of the geostationary orbit and its utilization and applications, including in-space communications.

By further terms, the General Assembly would agree that the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee should assess the effectiveness of existing space debris mitigation practices and the extent to which they were being implemented. It would urge all States, particularly those with major space capabilities, to contribute actively to the prevention of an arms race in outer space.

Introducing the draft resolution, Raimundo Gonzalez (Chile), Chairman of the Working Group of the Whole, described the draft as innovative in the areas of strategic thinking and human security.

The representatives of Chile, the Russian Federation, and Burkina Faso spoke regarding translation problems in the draft's Spanish, Russian and French versions respectively.

At its next meeting, at 10 a.m. on Monday, 29 October, the Fourth Committee will begin its consideration of the activities of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

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