(2) CONCLUSION OF A TREATY ON THE PROHIBITION OF THE USE OF FORCE IN OUTER SPACE AND FROM SPACE AGAINST THE EARTH|
Letter dated 19 August 1983 from the First Vice-Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the USSR, to the Secretary-General.
The Soviet Union requests the inclusion in the agenda of the thirty-eighth session of the General Assembly of an item entitled "Conclusion of a treaty on the prohibition of the use of force in outer space and from space against the Earth".
In proposing this item, the Soviet Union is seeking to avoid the militarization of outer space. Of particular danger in this respect are the plans to create and deploy various space-weapons systems capable of destroying targets both in space and on the Earth.
The Soviet Union considers it most imperative to have a reliable means of counteracting these plans to make space a source of mortal danger to all mankind, by taking urgent and effective measures to prevent the arms race from spreading to outer space, which it has not yet penetrated.
To this end, in 1981 at the United Nations the Soviet Union submitted a proposal concerning the conclusion of a treaty on the prohibition of the stationing of weapons of any kind in outer space. That proposal was approved by the General Assembly. However, for well-known reasons, the drafting of that treaty has not yet actually begun.
But time is running out, and now the Soviet Union is proposing that a further step should be taken forthwith in the form of an agreement on the general prohibition of the use of force both in outer space and from space against the Earth. It is submitting the relevant draft treaty for consideration at the current session.
The most important feature of the draft treaty is the combining of the political-legal obligations of States not to allow the use of force in their relations with each other in space and from space with measures of a material nature aimed at banning the militarization of outer space.
More precisely, the Soviet Union is advocating a complete ban on the testing and deployment in space of any space-based weapon for the destruction of objects on the Earth, in the atmosphere and in outer space.
It is also proposing a radical solution to the question of anti-satellite weapons: the unconditional pledge of States not to create new anti-satellite systems and to destroy any anti-satellite systems that they may already have.
The parties to the treaty would also undertake to refrain in every way from destroying, damaging, disturbing the normal functioning or changing the flight trajectory of space objects of other States.
In addition, the treaty would ban the testing and use for military, including anti-satellite, purposes of manned spacecraft, which should be used solely to solve scientific, technical and economic problems of various kinds.
Action on the series of far-reaching measures proposed by the Soviet Union would be a major and truly tangible contribution towards the attainment of the goal approved earlier by the United Nations, namely, ensuring that space is used exclusively for peaceful purposes.
I request you to consider this letter as an explanatory memorandum under the rules of procedure of the General Assembly and to circulate it, together with the enclosed draft treaty, as an official document of the General Assembly.
of the Council of Ministers of the USSR,
Minister for Foreign Affairs of the USSR.
THE PROHIBITION OF THE USE OF FORCE
The States Parties to this Treaty,
Guided by the principle whereby Members of the United Nations shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations,
Seeking to avert an arms race in outer space and thus to lessen the danger to mankind of the threat of nuclear war,
Desiring to contribute towards attainment of the goal whereby the exploration and utilization of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, would be carried out exclusively for peaceful purposes,
Have agreed on the following:
It is prohibited to resort to the use or threat of force in outer space and the atmosphere and on the Earth through the utilization, as instruments of destruction, of space objects in orbit around the Earth, on celestial bodies or stationed in space in any other manner.
It is further prohibited to resort to the use or threat of force against space objects in orbit around the Earth, on celestial bodies or stationed in outer space in any other manner.
In accordance with the provisions of article 1, States Parties to this Treaty undertake:
The State Parties to this Treaty agree not to assist, encourage or induce any State, group of States, international organization or natural or legal person to engage in activities prohibited by this Treaty.
Each State Party to this Treaty undertakes to adopt such internal measures as it may deem necessary to fulfil its constitutional requirements in order to prohibit or prevent the carrying out of any activity contrary to the provisions of this Treaty in any place whatever under its jurisdiction or control.
Nothing in this Treaty shall affect the rights and obligations of States under the Charter of the United Nations.
Any dispute which may arise in connection with the implementation of this Treaty shall be settled exclusively by peaceful means through recourse to the procedures provided for in the Charter of the United Nations.
This Treaty shall be of unlimited duration.
This Treaty, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall send duly certified copies thereof to the Governments of the signatory and acceding States.