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Thursday, 1 December 1983
Page: 3234

Question No. 479

Dr Everingham asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 8 September 1983:

(1) Has his attention been drawn to a French proposal to the first special session of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament for an all-nation remote -sensing space satellite agency to monitor peacekeeping.

(2) Is he able to say (a) whether the proposal had been adopted by the United Nations in 1982 and (b) what nations (i) opposed and (ii) refrained from supporting the proposal.

(3) What steps has the Australian Government taken or planned to apply to joint United States-Australian space research facilities to this objective.

Mr Hayden —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) (a) The proposal to establish an international satellite monitoring agency has not yet been adopted by the United Nations. At the 1982 Session of the UN General Assembly, France presented a resolution which took note of the Secretary -General's report and study on the technical, legal and financial implications of establishing an international satellite monitoring agency, sought the publication of the study as a UN document and requested the Secretary-General to report to the 1983 UN General Assembly session on the practical modalities for implementing the conclusions of the report.

(b) The resolution (No. 37/78K) was adopted by 126 votes in favour, nine against with 11 abstentions. Countries which supported the resolution were:

Algeria, Antigua and Barduda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belguim, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burma, Burindi, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China , Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Democratic Kampuchea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Federal Republic of, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea- Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Quatar, Romania , Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saudia Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Cameroon, United Republic of Tanzania, Upper Volta, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zaire, Zambia.

Countries voting against were: Bulgaria, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic , Czechoslovakia, German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Mongolia, Poland, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Countries which abstained were: Afghanistan, Angola, Cuba, Cyprus*, Democratic Yemen, Grenada, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Mozambique, United States of America, Viet Nam.

* Subsequently the delegation of Cyprus advised the Secretariat that it had intended to vote in favour.

(3) The Government has taken no steps to involve the joint space research facilities in Australia in this proposal. The Government does not believe the proposal has yet reached the stage where the Government would be in a position to consider whether the facilities could have a role in this concept.