Summary: 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, co-ordinating and disseminating the results of research into unidentified flying objects and related phenomena.
UN General Assembly decision 33/426, 1978
Establishment of an agency or a department of the
United Nations for undertaking, co-ordinating and disseminating
the results of research into unidentified flying objects and related
At its 87th plenary meeting, on 18 December 1978, the General Assembly,on the recommendation of the Special Political Committee adoptedthe following text as representing the consensus of the membersof the Assembly:
"1. 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.
"2. 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.
"3. 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.
"4. 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 programmes, 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 Programme on Space Applications. This Programme 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 Programme 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 Programme has concentrated
its efforts on Remote Sensing of the Earth, Life Sciences, Space
Transportation Systems, Planetary Exploration, and Astronomy.
The fields of planetary exploration and astronomy are commonly
subsumed under the term Basic Space Science.