CFE Extraordinary Conference concludes

  • Last updated: 20 Jan. 2009 17:11

Today the Extraordinary Conference of States Parties to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) requested by the Russian Federation concluded. This conference took place in Vienna from 11 - 15 June 2007.

The 22 members of the North Atlantic Alliance, who are States Parties to the Treaty considered the Russian Federation's stated security concerns which were the basis for requesting the conference and have suggested a positive and constructive way forward in their proposal for a final document.

The participating Allies reaffirmed the Alliance's commitment to the CFE regime as expressed by Heads of State and government at the NATO Riga Summit. They regret that it was not possible to reach agreement on a final document and urge the Russian Federation to engage in continuing dialogue which would lead to a positive outcome in the future.

Minister Plenipotentiary of Italy, Ms Brunella Borzi, on behalf of the participating Allies made a concluding statement during the closing session of the conference.

 

Statement

by Italian Delegation at CFE Extraordinary Conference June 15, 2007

Mr. Chairman,

The Italian Delegation would like to make the present statement on behalf of the Delegations of Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

During this CFE Extraordinary Conference, the above-mentioned States Parties joined all other States Parties to discuss the concerns raised by the Russian Federation in its request to convene the conference. 

Their primary objectives in participating in the conference were:

  • to listen to and respond to the Russian Federation’s concerns;
  • to express their own commitment to the CFE Treaty and their desire to achieve the earliest possible entry into force of the Agreement on Adaptation in a manner consistent with the Alliance's position of principle contained in paragraph 42 of the 2006 NATO Riga Summit Declaration, recalling their views on the importance of fulfillment of all remaining commitments reflected in the Final Act of the Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and its Annexes that was agreed at Istanbul in 1999;
  • to outline a way forward, including through steps that could be pursued in various fora, to achieve this end;
  • to underscore the central role the CFE Treaty continues to play for European security, and to urge all States Parties to continue to fully implement its provisions;
  • to invite the Russian Federation to continue dialogue on the issues it has raised and the concerns raised at the conference by other States Parties.

In an attempt to create the foundation for the successful resolution of concerns, a positive conference outcome, and to renew dialogue, they developed a proposed text for a Final Document of the conference. That proposal, tabled under CFE-EC.DEL/15/07 dated 13 June 2007 and attached as the Annex to this statement, seeks to constructively and creatively address the security concerns expressed by the Russian Federation and makes specific proposals to that end.

They regret that, despite their efforts, it was not possible to achieve agreement on a Final Document and hope that dialogue among all States Parties can be resumed shortly.  They will also continue to engage with the Russian Federation and all other CFE States Parties on related issues in other formats.  They expect that all States Parties will continue to implement fully all their obligations under the CFE Treaty and look forward to renewed dialogue to ensure the continued viability of this landmark Treaty, including its flank regime; which all NATO Allies regard as a cornerstone of European security and stability. 

Mr. Chairperson we would ask that you append this statement and its annex to the journal of this Conference.

On Behalf of Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. 

Elements of a Possible Extraordinary Conference Document


 

Value of the current CFE Regime

The States Parties reaffirm the fundamental role of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe as a cornerstone of security and stability in Europe and their adherence to its goals and objectives. The Treaty has been successful in achieving its objectives and maintaining them since its entry into force in 1992.

It is their common interest to preserve the integrity of the Treaty both in terms of the reduction of tensions relating to accumulated weapons through arms control at the regional level, and of greater stability through confidence building, transparency and information exchange among States Parties to the Treaty. They reaffirm their determination to fulfil in good faith all obligations and commitments arising from the Treaty and its associated documents and that no step will be taken which will call into question fulfilment of their obligations under the Treaty.


 

The Adapted CFE Treaty

  • States Parties underscore their desire to achieve the earliest possible entry into force of the Adapted Treaty and their shared determination to work together to create the conditions that would help lead to that objective and make possible the Treaty's ratification by all 30 States Parties in accordance with their national ratification procedures.
  • Taking into account the important progress already achieved, States Parties considered how to promote full implementation of the remaining commitments reflected in the Final Act of the Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and its Annexes.  States Parties will jointly endeavour to find agreement on a way forward.
  • The States Parties will intensify efforts to work together creatively and co-operatively to fulfil as soon as possible all remaining commitments reflected in the Final Act of the Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and its Annexes.
  • The States Parties agree that in current and foreseeable circumstances, until the Adapted CFE Treaty enters into force, they would take no step that would undermine its viability and prospects for ratification.
  • The States Parties will review the status of these undertakings at an Extraordinary Conference of the States Parties in the autumn of 2007, prior to the OSCE Ministerial meeting.

Related Statements and Commitments

  • States Parties recall that the Agreement on Adaptation will provide a new structure of limitations reflecting the evolving European political and security situation and contains enhanced provisions to address important concerns such as those of host state consent to the presence of foreign forces.
  • Once it enters into force it will also create an even more transparent and flexible arms control regime for conventional armed forces in Europe.
  • The States Parties recall in this context that, when the Agreement on Adaptation enters into force, other participating States of the OSCE whose land territory lies in Europe, will be able to apply for accession to the Treaty and welcomed statements made by these States towards that end. They noted that this would offer the opportunity to extend the benefits of the Treaty.
  • States Parties welcome statements made by .... concerning military activities relevant to the CFE Treaty.

Further Work

  • States Parties express their determination to pursue cooperative planning for implementation of the Adapted Treaty though a joint seminar in winter 2008.
  • Looking to the future after the Adapted CFE Treaty is in force, the States Parties agree to review, as appropriate, its operation in order to enhance European security and stability.
  • States Parties will conduct a high-level dialogue on Security and Arms Control in Europe in appropriate fora including, inter alia, an assessment of the developments in the political-military framework, and the impact of existing arms control measures and CSBMs on European Security.
  • States Parties agreed to convene in an informal setting to examine the future of the CFE Regime and potential accession procedures. They took note of the German offer to host this event in autumn 2007