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Ethics of Outer Space
UNESCO shall, in accordance with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 56/51 (10 December 2001) and through ongoing cooperation between UNESCO, COMEST and the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), promote ethical principles to guide present and future human activities for the safe and peaceful use and exploration of outer space.
  1. Determination of opportunities for international action in the area of the ethics of outer space (standard-setting and capacity-building actions)
  2. Development and promotion of the ethics of outer space (dissemination and net-work building) as a scientific discipline and civil discourse
The efforts to meet these objectives will be developed from the following conditions:

  • Build on existing COMEST work;
  • Increase credibility in the space community, the ethical community and the policy making “community”;
  • Avoid overlapping and conflicts of competency with COPUOS while promoting international and interagency cooperation.

In April 2004, the 169th Executive Board of UNESCO adopted a resolution requesting the Director General of UNESCO to "keep it informed of the action he intends to take on the advice and recommendations of COMEST concerning the advisability of drafting an international declaration on the ethics of outer space, reporting on his consultations with the other specialized agencies within the United Nations system and others competent organizations."

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