- Press Release
- Nov 26, 2022
United Nations Outer Space Legal Subcommittee to Hold 43rd Session in Vienna
Practices of Registering Objects Launched into Outer Space Key Item on Agenda
VIENNA, 25 March (UN Information Service) — The practice of States and
international organizations in registering space objects will be a key item
on the agenda of the 43rd session of the Legal Subcommittee of the United
Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) meeting. The
session will take place from 29 March to 8 April 2004 in Vienna.
Other topics of discussion include the definition and delimitation of
outer space, the status and application of the five United Nations treaties
on outer space, and a preliminary draft protocol on matters specific to
space assets. The Subcommittee will discuss its contributions to COPUOS for
the preparation of its report to the General Assembly. The report will
review the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations of
the Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of
Outer Space (UNISPACE III). As in previous sessions of the Subcommittee,
international organizations are invited to report their activities relating
to space law to the Subcommittee.
symposium, which will be held during the first day of the session, will
examine the new developments and the legal framework covering the
exploitation of the Moon’s resources.
Practice of States and international organizations in registering space
key new item on the agenda will be the practice of States and international
organizations in registering space objects. The Convention on Registration
of Objects Launched into Outer Space requires States launching objects into
space to make available information on the object launched to the UN. Based
on this information, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
(OOSA) maintains the United Nations Register of Objects Launched into Outer
Space, for which it also provides an online searchable index.
In accordance with the work plan for this item, covering the period from
2004 to 2007, Member States and international organizations will report on
their practice in registering space objects and submitting the required
information to OOSA for inclusion in the Register. The Vienna-based UN
outer-space body will make a presentation of the Register.
Status and application of the five United Nations treaties on outer
The Subcommittee will continue to discuss this agenda item. The Working
Group established by the Subcommittee on this topic will review the
implementation of the five treaties and obstacles to their universal
acceptance, as well as the implementation of the legal concept of the
“launching State”. The Subcommittee will also consider the revised,
proposed text for a draft resolution of the General Assembly on the
application of the concept of the “launching State”.
Preliminary draft protocol on matters specific to space assets to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment
Another item on the agenda of the Subcommittee is the examination of the
preliminary draft protocol on matters specific to space assets to the
Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment. The Convention
establishes a general legal framework for registering interests in mobile
high-value equipment that moves across national boundaries.
The protocol on matters specific to space assets, which is aimed at
establishing an international system for registering property interests in
space assets, is being developed by the International Institute for the
Unification of Private Law (Unidroit), an organization not affiliated to
the United Nations. The possibility of registering property interest in
space assets would have the effect of facilitating asset-based financing
for space projects, as it would enable creditors to reduce their risk by
obtaining the asset as collateral for their loan.
The Subcommittee will focus on two issues under this agenda item: issues
relating to the possibility of the United Nations serving as the
supervisory authority under the preliminary draft protocol, and the
relationship between the terms of the preliminary draft protocol and the
rights and obligations of States under the legal regimes applicable to
outer space. The Subcommittee will reconvene its Working Group to consider
the questions reflected in these two issues separately.
Symposium on the legal framework covering the exploration of the
resources of the Moon
New developments and the legal framework covering the exploitation of the
resources of the Moon will be the theme of this year’s Symposium jointly
organized by the International Institute of Space Law of the International
Astronautical Federation and the European Centre for Space Law.
The Symposium will be held in the afternoon of the first day of the
Subcommittee session. The programme will include presentations by leading
experts on the future of the Agreement Governing the Activities of States
on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, the “Moon Agreement”, and Article
II of the Outer Space Treaty, as well as the status of the Moon and
An exhibition jointly organized by the Algerian Space Agency and OOSA will
be on display in the rotunda of the Vienna International Centre during the
Legal Subcommittee session. The exhibition includes a model of “AlSat-1”,
Algeria’s first small satellite. AlSat-1 is part of the international
Disaster Monitoring Constellation, which consists of four satellites from
four countries. The exhibition can be viewed as part of a guided tour of
the Vienna International Centre.
The Legal Subcommittee, like COPUOS, its parent Committee, has the
following Member States: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria,
Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chad,
Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, France,
Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan,
Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco,
Netherlands, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines,
Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi
Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan,
Sweden, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay,
Venezuela and Viet Nam.
* *** *
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) implements the
decisions of the General Assembly and of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses
of Outer Space and its two Subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical
Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee. The Office is responsible for
promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space,
and assisting developing countries in using space science technology.
Located in Vienna, Austria, OOSA maintains a website at
United Nations Information Service Vienna (UNIS)
P.O.Box 500, A-1400 Vienna, Austria
Tel.: (+43-1) 26060 4666, FAX: (+43-1) 26060 5899
Visit our home page: www.unis.unvienna.org