Fourth Committee Approves Two Draft Resolutions on Outer Space Cooperation, Spotlighting Global Health, Arms Race, Risks of Space Debris
The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization), acting without a vote, approved two draft resolutions on international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, including one that would have the General Assembly urge Member States to work towards averting an arms race in space while also paying more attention to the danger of space objects colliding.
Through the draft resolution titled "Space and global health" (document A/77/C.4/L.6), the Assembly would agree to promote capacity‑building events, to be organized by United Nations entities and others, aimed at promoting awareness of, and engagement with, space science and technology, with a view to increasing the number of those in the health domain that are engaged in that area. It would also request the Office for Outer Space Affairs to strengthen, within existing resources, capacity‑building and networking in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean, through regional technical cooperation projects, and to support field projects for strengthening collaboration for making better use of space science and technology for access to global health.
Through the draft resolution titled "International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space" (document A/77/C.4/L.7), the Assembly would endorse the report of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on the work of its sixty‑fifth session. Among other things, it would urge all Member States, in particular those with major space capabilities, to contribute actively to the goal of preventing an arms race in outer space. It would request the Outer Space Committee to continue to consider, as a matter of priority, ways and means of maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its seventy-eighth session.
By that same text, the Assembly would also consider it essential that Member States pay more attention to the gradually increasing probability of collisions of space objects, especially those with nuclear power sources, with space debris, and call for more national research on this question. In addition, the Assembly would urge the Inter‑Agency Meeting on Outer Space Activities (UN-Space), under the leadership of the Office for Outer Space Affairs, to continue to examine how space science and technology can contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It would go on to note the continued work of the Russian Federation in the establishment of a centre for space science and technology education in the Eurasian region on the basis of Roscosmos Corporate Academy.
Omran Sharaf (United Arab Emirates), Chair of the Working Group of the Whole, reported on proceedings within that body, noting that it agreed to the draft text on space and global health as a whole. Further, it also agreed to the draft resolution on international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, as a whole, as orally revised with the insertion of a new operative paragraph.
The representatives of Canada, United States, Czech Republic (on behalf of the European Union) and the United Kingdom disassociated themselves from operative paragraph 28 and its reference to the Russian Federation’s centre for space science and technology education, describing it as inappropriate. In particular, the Czech Republic’s delegate said that the European Union could not support the process of a United Nations‑affiliated regional centre in the Russian Federation given that country’s aggression against Ukraine.
The Fourth Committee will reconvene at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, 1 November, to begin its consideration of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects.