NEW YORK/VIENNA, OCTOBER 12 – While in New York the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly started consideration of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the international community are celebrating fifty years since the Outer Space Treaty entered into force on 10 October 1967.
“The Treaty facilitates international cooperation in space matters. Nations that have political differences work together for scientific progress and to better understand the universe around us. While we may disagree on Earth, what we can achieve together in space is inspiring. Space unites us towards common goals. This is what we call space diplomacy,” said UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo.
The Outer Space Treaty, officially entitled the Treaty of Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, is the foundation of international space law. Twenty-four countries ratified the agreement in 1967, and now 105 countries are party to the Treaty. The Outer Space Treaty has helped maintain peaceful and orderly exploration and use of outer space. Among its articles, the Outer Space Treaty makes countries liable for damage caused by objects they launch into space and countries that are party of the treaty have to take responsibility for their activities in space. It also prohibits nations from placing weapons of mass destruction in outer space. The exploration and use of outer space is for all humankind, it states in the treaty, and no country can lay claim to the Moon or any other celestial body.
“As we look back on 50 years of the Outer Space Treaty, we remember its historical origins, celebrate the international cooperation and achievements it has facilitated, as well as to look ahead to an exciting future of space activities from exploring our solar system to developing better technology for improving lives on Earth. The Treaty is a commitment from the international community to preserve space peacefully, for all of us, and the generations to come,” said Ms. Di Pippo. (@OnuItalia)
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