Open main menu

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 April 2018, 107 countries are parties to the treaty, while another 23 have signed the treaty but have not completed ratification.[1] In addition, Taiwan, which is currently recognized by 16 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.[5]

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
{{{image_alt}}}
  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 107[1][2][3][4]
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

Contents

Key pointsEdit

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 Earth orbit, installing them on the Moon or any other celestial body, or otherwise stationing 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 (Article IV). However, the Treaty does not prohibit the placement of conventional weapons in orbit and thus some highly destructive attack strategies such as kinetic bombardment are still potentially allowable.[6] The treaty also states that the exploration of outer space shall be done to benefit all countries and that space shall be free for exploration and use by all the States.

The treaty explicitly forbids any government to claim a celestial resource such as the Moon or a planet.[7] Article 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.[8] The State is also liable for damages caused by their space object.[9]

Responsibility for activities in spaceEdit

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."[10][11]

Follow-upsEdit

The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) oversees[citation needed] these treaties and other questions of space jurisdiction.

StatusEdit

List of partiesEdit

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 July 2017, 107 countries are parties to the treaty, while another 23 have signed the treaty but have not completed ratification.[1]

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, DC. Also indicated is whether the state became a party by way of signing the treaty and subsequent ratification, or by accession to the treaty after it had closed for signature.

State[1][2][3][4] 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
  Azerbaijan Sep 9, 2015 (L) Accession
  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
  Malta May 22, 2017 (L) 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
  Nicaragua Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Feb 13, 1967 (L)
Jun 30, 2017 (W)
Aug 10, 2017 (M)
Aug 14, 2017 (L)
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
  Paraguay Dec 22, 2016 (L) Accession
  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 as the   Soviet Union
  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 treatyEdit

The Republic of China (Taiwan), which is currently only recognized by 16 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".[5]

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

States that have signed but not ratifiedEdit

23 states have signed but not ratified the treaty.

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)
  Panama Jan 27, 1967 (W)
  Philippines Jan 27, 1967 (L, W)
Apr 29, 1967 (M)
  Rwanda Jan 27, 1967 (W)
  Somalia Feb 2, 1967 (W)
  Trinidad and Tobago Jul 24, 1967 (L)
Aug 17, 1967 (M)
Sep 28, 1967 (W)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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 2017-09-16. 
  2. ^ a b "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 (PDF) 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. 
  3. ^ a b "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. 
  4. ^ a b "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 2015-08-28. 
  5. ^ a b "China: Accession to Outer Space Treaty". United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs. Retrieved 2015-03-01. 
  6. ^ Bourbonniere, M; Lee, R. J (2007). "Legality of the Deployment of Conventional Weapons in Earth Orbit: Balancing Space Law and the Law of Armed Conflict". European Journal of International Law. 18 (5): 873. doi:10.1093/ejil/chm051. 
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ Wikisource:Outer Space Treaty of 1967#Article VIII
  9. ^ Wikisource:Outer Space Treaty of 1967#Article VII
  10. ^ 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
  11. ^ Wikisource:Outer Space Treaty of 1967#Article IX
  12. ^ Status of international agreements relating to activities in outer space as at 1 January 2008 United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, 2008

Further readingEdit

  • Annette Froehlich, et al.: A Fresh View on the Outer Space Treaty. Springer, Vienna 2018, ISBN 978-3-319-70433-3.

External linksEdit