Outer Space Treaty

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Outer Space Treaty
French: Traité de l'espace
Russian: Договор о космосе
Spanish: Tratado sobre el espacio ultraterrestre
Chinese: 外层空间条约
Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies
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  Parties
  Signatories
  Non-parties
Signed 27 January 1967
Location London, Moscow and Washington, D.C.
Effective 10 October 1967
Condition 5 ratifications, including the depositary Governments
Parties 103[1]
Depositary Governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America
Languages English, French, Russian, Spanish and Chinese
Outer Space Treaty of 1967 at Wikisource

The Outer Space Treaty, formally the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, is a treaty that forms the basis of international space law. The treaty was opened for signature in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union on 27 January 1967, and entered into force on 10 October 1967. As of May 2013, 103 countries are parties to the treaty, while another 26 have signed the treaty but have not completed ratification.[1] In addition, the Republic of China (Taiwan), which is currently only recognized by 21 UN member states, ratified the treaty prior to the United Nations General Assembly's vote to transfer China's seat to the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1971.[2]

Key points[edit]

The Outer Space Treaty represents the basic legal framework of international space law. Among its principles, it bars states party to the treaty from placing weapons of mass destruction in orbit of Earth, installing them on the Moon or any other celestial body, or to otherwise station them in outer space. It exclusively limits the use of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes and expressly prohibits their use for testing weapons of any kind, conducting military maneuvers, or establishing military bases, installations, and fortifications (Art.IV). However, the Treaty does not prohibit the placement of conventional weapons in orbit. The treaty also states that the exploration of outer space shall be done to benefit all countries and shall be free for exploration and use by all the States.

The treaty explicitly forbids any government from claiming a celestial resource such as the Moon or a planet, claiming that they are the common heritage of mankind.[3] Art. II of the Treaty states that "outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means". However, the State that launches a space object retains jurisdiction and control over that object.[4] The State is also liable for damages caused by their space object.[5]

Responsibility for activities in space[edit]

Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty deals with international responsibility, stating that "the activities of non-governmental entities in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, shall require authorization and continuing supervision by the appropriate State Party to the Treaty" and that States Parties shall bear international responsibility for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities.

As a result of discussions arising from Project West Ford in 1963, a consultation clause was included in Article IX of the Outer Space Treaty: "A State Party to the Treaty which has reason to believe that an activity or experiment planned by another State Party in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, would cause potentially harmful interference with activities in the peaceful exploration and use of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, may request consultation concerning the activity or experiment."[6][7]

Follow-ups[edit]

Status[edit]

List of parties[edit]

The Outer Space Treaty was opened for signature in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union on 27 January 1967, and entered into force on 10 October 1967. As of May 2013, 103 countries are parties to the treaty, while another 26 have signed the treaty but have not completed ratification.[1] Azerbaijan's parliament approved ratification of the treaty in 2013, and is pending deposit of an instrument of accession to the treaty depositary.[9]

Multiple dates indicate the different days in which states submitted their signature or deposition, which varied by location. This location is noted by: (L) for London, (M) for Moscow, and (W) for Washington.

State[1][10][11][12] Signed Deposited Method
 Afghanistan Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Jan 30, 1967 (M)
Mar 17, 1988 (L, M)
Mar 21, 1988 (W)
Ratification
 Algeria Jan 27, 1992 (W) Accession
 Antigua and Barbuda Nov 16, 1988 (W)
Dec 26, 1988 (M)
Jan 26, 1989 (L)
Succession from  United Kingdom
 Argentina Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Apr 18, 1967 (M)
Mar 26, 1969 (M, W) Ratification
 Australia Jan 27, 1967 (W) Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Austria Feb 20, 1967 (L, M, W) Feb 26, 1968 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Bahamas Aug 11, 1976 (L)
Aug 13, 1976 (W)
Aug 30, 1976 (M)
Succession from  United Kingdom
 Bangladesh Jan 14, 1986 (L)
Jan 17, 1986 (W)
Jan 24, 1986 (M)
Accession
 Barbados Sep 12, 1968 (W) Accession
 Belarus Feb 10, 1967 (M) Oct 31, 1967 (M) Ratification
 Belgium Jan 27, 1967 (L, M)
Feb 2, 1967 (W)
Mar 30, 1973 (W)
Mar 31, 1973 (L, M)
Ratification
 Benin Jun 19, 1986 (M)
Jul 2, 1986 (L)
Jul 7, 1986 (W)
Accession
 Brazil Jan 30, 1967 (M)
Feb 2, 1967 (L, W)
Mar 5, 1969 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Bulgaria Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Mar 28, 1967 (M)
Apr 11, 1967 (W)
Apr 19, 1967 (L)
Ratification
 Burkina Faso Mar 3, 1967 (W) Jun 18, 1968 (W) Ratification
 Canada Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Chile Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Feb 3, 1967 (L)
Feb 20, 1967 (M)
Oct 8, 1981 (W) Ratification
 China Dec 30, 1983 (W)
Jan 6, 1984 (M)
Jan 12, 1984 (L)
Accession
 Cuba Jun 3, 1977 (M) Accession
 Cyprus Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Feb 15, 1967 (M)
Feb 16, 1967 (L)
Jul 5, 1972 (L, W)
Sep 20, 1972 (M)
Ratification
 Czech Republic Jan 1, 1993 (M, W)
Sep 29, 1993 (L)
Succession from  Czechoslovakia
 Denmark Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Dominican Republic Jan 27, 1967 (W) Nov 21, 1968 (W) Ratification
 Ecuador Jan 27, 1967 (W)
May 16, 1967 (L)
Jun 7, 1967 (M)
Mar 7, 1969 (W) Ratification
 Egypt Jan 27, 1967 (M, W) Oct 10, 1967 (W)
Jan 23, 1968 (M)
Ratification
 El Salvador Jan 27, 1967 (W) Jan 15, 1969 (W) Ratification
 Equatorial Guinea Jan 16, 1989 (M) Accession
 Estonia Apr 19, 2010 (M) Accession
 Fiji Jul 18, 1972 (W)
Aug 14, 1972 (L)
Aug 29, 1972 (M)
Succession from  United Kingdom
 Finland Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Jul 12, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
 France Sep 25, 1967 (L, M, W) Aug 5, 1970 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Germany Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Feb 10, 1971 (L, W) Ratification
 Greece Jan 27, 1967 (W) Jan 19, 1971 (L) Ratification
 Guinea-Bissau Aug 20, 1976 (M) Accession
 Hungary Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Jun 26, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Iceland Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Feb 5, 1968 (L, M, W) Ratification
 India Mar 3, 1967 (L, M, W) Jan 18, 1982 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Indonesia Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Jan 30, 1967 (M)
Feb 14, 1967 (L)
Jun 25, 2002 (L) Ratification
 Iraq Feb 27, 1967 (L, W)
Mar 9, 1967 (M)
Dec 4, 1968 (M)
Sep 23, 1969 (L)
Ratification
 Ireland Jan 27, 1967 (L, W) Jul 17, 1968 (W)
Jul 19, 1968 (L)
Ratification
 Israel Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Feb 18, 1977 (W)
Mar 1, 1977 (L)
Apr 4, 1977 (M)
Ratification
 Italy Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) May 4, 1972 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Jamaica Jun 29, 1967 (L, M, W) Aug 6, 1970 (W)
Aug 10, 1970 (L)
Aug 21, 1970 (M)
Ratification
 Japan Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Kazakhstan Jun 11, 1998 (M) Accession
 Kenya Jan 19, 1984 (L) Accession
 North Korea Mar 5, 2009 (M) Accession
 South Korea Jan 27, 1967 (W) Oct 13, 1967 (W) Ratification
 Kuwait Jun 7, 1972 (W)
Jun 20, 1972 (L)
Jul 4, 1972 (M)
Accession
 Laos Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Jan 30, 1967 (L)
Feb 2, 1967 (M)
Nov 27, 1972 (M)
Nov 29, 1972 (W)
Jan 15, 1973 (L)
Ratification
 Lebanon Feb 23, 1967 (L, M, W) Mar 31, 1969 (L, M)
Jun 30, 1969 (W)
Ratification
 Libya Jul 3, 1968 (W) Accession
 Lithuania Mar 25, 2013 (W) Accession
 Luxembourg Jan 27, 1967 (M, W)
Jan 31, 1967 (L)
Jan 17, 2006 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Madagascar Aug 22, 1968 (W) Accession
 Mali Jun 11, 1968 (M) Accession
 Mauritius Apr 7, 1969 (W)
Apr 21, 1969 (L)
May 13, 1969 (M)
Succession from  United Kingdom
 Mexico Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Jan 31, 1968 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Mongolia Jan 27, 1967 (M) Oct 10, 1967 (M) Ratification
 Morocco Dec 21, 1967 (L, M)
Dec 22, 1967 (W)
Accession
 Myanmar May 22, 1967 (L, M, W) Mar 18, 1970 (L, M, W) Ratification
   Nepal Feb 3, 1967 (M, W)
Feb 6, 1967 (L)
Oct 10, 1967 (L)
Oct 16, 1967 (M)
Nov 22, 1967 (W)
Ratification
 Netherlands Feb 10, 1967 (L, M, W) Oct 10, 1969 (L, M, W) Ratification
 New Zealand Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) May 31, 1968 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Niger Feb 1, 1967 (W) Apr 17, 1967 (L)
May 3, 1967 (W)
Ratification
 Nigeria Nov 14, 1967 (L) Accession
 Norway Feb 3, 1967 (L, M, W) Jul 1, 1969 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Pakistan Sep 12, 1967 (L, M, W) Apr 8, 1968 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Papua New Guinea Oct 27, 1980 (L)
Nov 13, 1980 (M)
Mar 16, 1981 (W)
Succession from  Australia
 Peru Jun 30, 1967 (W) Feb 28, 1979 (M)
Mar 1, 1979 (L)
Mar 21, 1979 (W)
Ratification
 Poland Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Jan 30, 1968 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Portugal May 29, 1996 (L) Accession
 Qatar Mar 13, 2012 (W) Accession
 Romania Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Apr 9, 1968 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Russia Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines May 13, 1999 (L) Succession from  United Kingdom
 San Marino Apr 21, 1967 (W)
Apr 24, 1967 (L)
Jun 6, 1967 (M)
Oct 29, 1968 (W)
Nov 21, 1968 (M)
Feb 3, 1969 (L)
Ratification
 Saudi Arabia Dec 17, 1976 (W) Accession
 Seychelles Jan 5, 1978 (L) Accession
 Sierra Leone Jan 27, 1967 (L, M)
May 16, 1967 (W)
Jul 13, 1967 (M)
Jul 14, 1967 (W)
Oct 25, 1967 (L)
Ratification
 Singapore Sep 10, 1976 (L, M, W) Accession
 Slovakia Jan 1, 1993 (M, W)
May 17, 1993 (L)
Succession from  Czechoslovakia
 South Africa Mar 1, 1967 (W) Sep 30, 1968 (W)
Oct 8, 1968 (L)
Nov 14, 1968 (M)
Ratification
 Spain Nov 27, 1968 (L)
Dec 7, 1968 (W)
Accession
 Sri Lanka Mar 10, 1967 (L) Nov 18, 1986 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Sweden Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Oct 11, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
  Switzerland Jan 27, 1967 (L, W)
Jan 30, 1967 (M)
Dec 18, 1969 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Syria Nov 19, 1968 (M) Accession
 Thailand Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Sep 5, 1968 (L)
Sep 9, 1968 (M)
Sep 10, 1968 (W)
Ratification
 Togo Jan 27, 1967 (W) Jun 26, 1989 (W) Ratification
 Tonga Jun 22, 1971 (M)
Jul 7, 1971 (L, W)
Succession from  United Kingdom
 Tunisia Jan 27, 1967 (L, W)
Feb 15, 1967 (M)
Mar 28, 1968 (L)
Apr 4, 1968 (M)
Apr 17, 1968 (W)
Ratification
 Turkey Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Mar 27, 1968 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Uganda Apr 24, 1968 (W) Accession
 Ukraine Feb 10, 1967 (M) Oct 31, 1967 (M) Ratification
 United Arab Emirates Oct 4, 2000 (W) Accession
 United Kingdom Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
 United States Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Uruguay Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Jan 30, 1967 (M)
Aug 31, 1970 (W) Ratification
 Venezuela Jan 27, 1967 (W) Mar 3, 1970 (W) Ratification
 Vietnam Jun 20, 1980 (M) Accession
 Yemen Jun 1, 1979 (M) Accession
 Zambia Aug 20, 1973 (W)
Aug 21, 1973 (M)
Aug 28, 1973 (L)
Accession

Partially recognized state abiding by treaty[edit]

The Republic of China (Taiwan), which is currently only recognized by 21 UN member states, ratified the treaty prior to the United Nations General Assembly's vote to transfer China's seat to the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1971. When the PRC subsequently ratified the treaty, they described the Republic of China's (ROC) ratification as "illegal". The ROC has committed itself to continue to adhere to the requirements of the treaty, and the United States has declared that they still consider them to be "bound by its obligations".[2]

State Signed Deposited Method
 Republic of China 27 Jan 1967 24 Jul 1970 Ratification

States that have signed but not ratified[edit]

State Signed
 Bolivia Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Botswana Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Burundi Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Cameroon Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Central African Republic Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Colombia Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Democratic Republic of the Congo Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Apr 29, 1967 (M)
May 4, 1967 (L)
 Ethiopia Jan 27, 1967 (L, W)
Feb 10, 1967 (M)
 Gambia Jun 2, 1967 (L)
 Ghana Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Feb 15, 1967 (M)
Mar 3, 1967 (L)
 Guyana Feb 3, 1967 (W)
 Haiti Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Holy See Apr 5, 1967 (L)
 Honduras Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Iran Jan 27, 1967 (L)
 Jordan Feb 2, 1967 (W)
 Lesotho Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Malaysia Feb 20, 1967 (W)
Feb 21, 1967 (L)
May 3, 1967 (M)
 Montenegro[a] Jan 27, 1967 (L, M)
 Nicaragua Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Feb 13, 1967 (L)
 Panama Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Philippines Jan 27, 1967 (L, W)
Apr 29, 1967 (M)
 Rwanda Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Serbia[a] Jan 27, 1967 (L, M)
 Somalia Feb 2, 1967 (W)
 Trinidad and Tobago Jul 24, 1967 (L)
Aug 17, 1967 (M)
Sep 28, 1967 (W)
Notes
  1. ^ a b Succession to the signature of  Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies". United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs. Retrieved 2013-04-18. 
  2. ^ a b "China: Accession to Outer Space Treaty". United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  3. ^ Jennifer Frakes, (2003) The Common Heritage of Mankind Principle and the Deep Seabed, Outer Space, and Antarctica: Will Developed and Developing Nations Reach a Compromise? Wiscoscin International Law Journal, 21, at 409
  4. ^ "Article VIII – Outer Space Treaty of 1967 – Wikisource". 
  5. ^ "Article VII – Outer Space Treaty of 1967 – Wikisource". 
  6. ^ Terrill Jr., Delbert R. (May 1999), Project West Ford, "The Air Force Role in Developing International Outer Space Law" (PDF), Air Force History and Museums:63–67
  7. ^ "Article IX – Outer Space Treaty of 1967 – Wikisource". 
  8. ^ Status of international agreements relating to activities in outer space as at 1 January 2008 United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, 2008
  9. ^ "Azerbaijan improves legal framework for space cooperation". 13 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  10. ^ "TREATY ON PRINCIPLES GOVERNING THE ACTIVITIES OF STATES IN THE EXPLORATION AND USE OF OUTER SPACE, INCLUDING THE MOON AND OTHER CELESTIAL BODIES". Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Archived from the original on 2013-01-04. Retrieved 2015-02-28. 
    "Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies [London version]". Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Retrieved 2015-02-28. 
  11. ^ "Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies" (PDF). United States Department of State. 2010-10-06. Retrieved 2015-02-28. 
  12. ^ "Договор о принципах деятельности государств по исследованию и использованию космического пространства, включая Луну и другие небесные тела" (in Russian). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2015-02-28. 

External links[edit]