The Dáil is to pass an out-of-this-world Government motion stating that outer space remains peaceful, devoid of weapons, and claims of national sovereignty.
The Cabinet today agreed to authorise a motion in the Dáil, in accordance with the Constitution, approving the terms of the "Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies" (Outer Space Treaty).
The basic features of the Outer Space Treaty include the insistence that the exploration and use of outer space is open to all States but is to be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries.
It also states that outer space is to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes: The stationing there of weapons of mass destruction is prohibited.
It maintains that there can be no claim of national sovereignty to any part of outer space, and that international law, including the UN Charter, applies to outer space.
The Treaty states that astronauts are envoys of mankind and should receive, in the case of accidents or emergency, assistance and return of themselves and their vehicle to their home country.
The Liability Convention arose out of the need for effective international rules to deal with liability for damage caused by space objects and to ensure the prompt payment of a full and equitable measure of compensation to victims of such damage.
Ireland is a party to these agreements as a matter of international law.