The Feasibility of Space-Based Remote Sensing in the Verification of a Treaty to Prevent an Arms Race in Outer Space

  • F. Ronald Cleminson
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 26)


There are at least a dozen existing treaties and conventions which are of relevance to the arms control and outer space issue. These are discussed in a Canadian working paper (CD/618) submitted to the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva during its 1985 summer session. From the multilateral aspect two treaties are of particular importance. The first one is the 1963 Partial Test Ban Treaty which specifically prohibited nuclear weapon test explosions in space. The second, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, generally regarded as the corner stone of international space law, established a basic legal framework for general space exploration and utilization. While not an arms control treaty per se, it does, in Article IV, specifically address military activities. Article IV prohibits the emplacement of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in earth orbit. It also bans the establishment of military bases, installations and fortifications, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of military manoeuvres on celestial bodies.


Outer Space Weapon System Ballistic Missile External Affair Strategic Defense Initiative 
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  1. (1).
    Canada. “Working Papers: Survey of International Law Relevant to Arms Control and Outer Space” CD/618Google Scholar
  2. (2).
    Canada. Department of External Affairs Statements and Speeches No. 82/10. “Technology Momentum The Fuel That Feeds The Nuclear Arms Race, an address by the Rt. Hon. P.E. Trudeau to UNSSOD II, New York, June 18, 1982”Google Scholar
  3. (3).
    Kissinger, Henry. “Why The U.S. Must Stand Firm on Star Wars at Geneva Talks” Toronto Sunday Star, 8 September, 1985, page F.5Google Scholar
  4. (4).
    U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment. Arms Control in Space: Workshop Proceedings (Washington DC: OTA-BP-15C-28, May 1984 )Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Ronald Cleminson
    • 1
  1. 1.Arms Control and Disarmament DivisionDepartment of External AffairsOttawaCanada

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