Strengthening international cooperation in the monitoring of global environmental problems, G.A. res. 48/192, 48 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 49) at 169, U.N. Doc. A/48/49 (1993).

The General Assembly,

Reaffirming its resolutions 44/224 of 22 December 1989 and 46/217 of 20 December 1991 on international cooperation in the monitoring, assessment and anticipation of environmental threats and in assistance in cases of environmental emergency,

Reaffirming also the relevant provisions of Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, including principle 2 of the Declaration, which states that States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction,

Recalling decision 16/37 of 31 May 1991 of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on early warning and forecasting of environmental emergencies, and taking note of Governing Council decision 17/26 of 21 May 1993 on the United Nations Centre for Urgent Environmental Assistance,

Taking note of the relevant parts of the reports of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on its thirty-fifth and thirty-sixth sessions in particular, in which the Committee noted the importance of remote sensing by satellites for monitoring the Earth's environment and, in particular, for studying and monitoring global change,

Taking into account the ongoing activities of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites in support of global environment monitoring and related applications,

Bearing in mind the importance of the participation of relevant organs, specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system, within their respective mandates, in Earthwatch, in particular in its environmental monitoring programmes, and the need for early warning capabilities in those programmes,

Recognizing the need to make Earthwatch a more efficient instrument for environmental sensing and assessment of all elements influencing the global environment in order to ensure a balanced approach in serving, in particular, the needs of developing countries,

Recognizing also the potential and importance of current available methods, technologies and techniques of monitoring, assessment and anticipation of global environmental problems, including remote sensing and monitoring from outer space,

1. Invites Governments, relevant organizations of the United Nations system, within their respective mandates, and other relevant entities to review, as appropriate, their contribution to international cooperation in environmental monitoring, including environmentally related remote sensing and data assessment, and to provide appropriate support for such activities within existing resources;

2. Requests the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme to prepare and to submit to the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme at its eighteenth session a report on the activities of the Programme in environmental monitoring, containing proposals and recommendations within the context of Agenda 21 and a review of Earthwatch, taking into account the decisions adopted by the Governing Council at its seventeenth session, in cooperation with relevant entities within the United Nations system and, where appropriate, outside the United Nations system;

3. Invites the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme to consider the above-mentioned report at its eighteenth session and to submit its conclusions and recommendations to the General Assembly at its fiftieth session, through the Economic and Social Council.

86th plenary meeting
21 December 1993