|CFE Treaty: Current Issues and Future Challenges |
CFE Treaty: Current Issues and Future Challenges
The CFE Treaty in transition: Current issues and future challenges. Source: NATO Communiqué PR/CP(2001)019. Brussels, February 14, 2001.
From 14 to 16 February, the NATO Verification Co-ordinating Committee (VCC) will host the annual seminar on the implementation aspects of what is a cornerstone of European security and stability: the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. The Seminar will be attended by the 30 States Parties to the CFE Treaty and each country will be represented by high-level staff from the arms control and disarmament departments in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence.
For three days, the Allies, together with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, Slovakia and Ukraine will address a wide range of implementation issues with the purpose of exchanging views and sharing their experience in a spirit of transparency and co-operation.
Co-operation and co-ordination are in fact keywords in the work of the Verification Co-ordinating Committee. While the fulfilment of Treaty rights and obligations is a national responsibility, the Alliance attaches great importance to the continuing validity and to the full implementation by all parties of the CFE Treaty which is regarded as an essential element in ensuring the stability of the Euro-Atlantic area.
Conducted under the auspices of the Euro Atlantic Partnership Council, the VCC Seminar takes place in Brussels, at NATO Headquarters and is the latest in a series of highly successful joint seminars and workshops for Allies and Partners. It is an informal forum in which CFE States Parties discuss implementation aspects, plan for joint multinational activities, define common training courses, develop bilateral agreements and address issues of concern.
This year's event is particularly significant for two reasons. The first is that the 30 countries are preparing for the 2nd CFE Treaty Review Conference to be held next May (the first conference to review the operation of the Treaty was held in 1996). The second is that countries are looking forward to exchanging views with the other States Parties on the implementation of the Adapted CFE Treaty, signed in 1999 at the OSCE Summit.
Although the original CFE Treaty did not provide for accession of new States Parties, the Adapted CFE Treaty, upon entry into force, will provide an accession mechanism. One of the seminar's sessions will be open to non-CFE EAPC Partner States whose territory lies in Europe within the geographic area between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ural Mountains, since a number of these countries are considering accession to CFE.
Since its entry into force in 1992, the 30 signatories to the Treaty have achieved the reduction of more than 50.000 pieces of equipment (battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, artillery, combat aircraft and attack helicopters). They have conducted more than 1000 inspections of reduction events and over 2000 on-site inspections of military facilities. Building on this success, the Adapted Treaty, when ratified, will further enhance security throughout Europe, as it introduces a more constraining structure of National and Territorial Ceilings and provides for greater transparency through increased information requirements and more inspection opportunities.
For further information, please contact the NATO Press and Media Service at tel: 32 (0)2 707 5041.