At its 87th plenary meeting, on 18
December 1978, the UN General Assembly, on the
recommendation of the Special Political Committee recommended
the establishment of an agency or a department of the United Nations
for undertaking, coordinating and disseminating the results of
research into unidentified flying objects and related phenomena.
Assembly decision 33/426, 1978
Establishment of an agency or a department of the United Nations for
undertaking, coordinating and disseminating the results of research
into unidentified flying objects and related phenomena.
At its 87th plenary meeting, on 18 December 1978, the General
Assembly, on the recommendation of the Special Political
Committee adopted the following text as representing the
consensus of the members of the Assembly:
The General Assembly has taken
note of the statements made, and draft resolutions
submitted, by Grenada at the thirty-second and thirty-third
sessions of the General Assembly regarding unidentified
flying objects and related phenomena.
the General Assembly invites
interested Member States to take appropriate steps to
coordinate on a national level scientific research and
investigation into extraterrestrial life, including
unidentified flying objects, and to inform the
Secretary-General of the observations, research and
evaluation of such activities.
The General Assembly requests
the Secretary-general to transmit the statements of the
delegation of Grenada and the relevant documentation to the
Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, so
that it may consider them at its session in 1979.
The Committee on the Peaceful
Uses of Outer Space will permit Grenada, upon its
request, to present its views to the Committee at its
session in 1979. The committee’s deliberation will be
included in its report which will be considered by the
General Assembly at its thirty-fourth session.”
UN Outer Space Office Background
THE UNITED NATIONS ROLE IN SPACE
The United Nations has been a forum for international discussions
relating to space activities and the environment for many years. But
in the last few years, like many other organizations, it has paid
increasing attention to the need to protect the environment,
including the space environment.
The work of the United Nations relating to space activities and the
environment focuses on the promotion of international cooperation in
the use of space technology for monitoring the terrestrial
environmental; and working to ensure that space activities do not
themselves cause damage to the space or Earth environment.
The efforts of the United Nations to promote international
cooperation in space fall into two rather different categories.
One is the negotiation of
international political and legal agreements. For these efforts,
the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its
Legal Subcommittee are the primary forums, and the major
participants are the space powers. The developing countries with
space programs, including Brazil, China and India, are playing
an increasingly active role in the international policy debates,
in particular with respect to the space and Earth environments.
The second category of United
Nations space activities is the provision of technical
assistance to developing countries, mainly through the Program
on Space Applications. This Program is overseen by the Committee
on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, and the major participants
are, of course, the developing countries. Efforts to promote the
use of space technology for monitoring and protecting the
terrestrial environment fall mainly into this category.
The United Nations monitoring role has
focused on education and training for developing countries. The
Office for Outer Space Affairs, through its Program on Space
Applications, organizes short seminars, workshops and training
courses and arranges for fellowships for long-term education through
institutions in countries with advanced facilities.
Since its inception in 1970, this
Program has concentrated its efforts on:
The fields of planetary exploration
and astronomy are commonly subsumed under the term Basic