Updated: 25-Oct-2006 NATO Speeches


2 June 2006


at the Closing Session of the 2006 CFE Review Conference

Presented 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

Bullet NATO’s role in arms control

1. The States Parties listed above reaffirmed the fundamental role of the CFE Treaty as a cornerstone of European security and their adherence to its goals and objectives. They reaffirmed their determination to fulfill in good faith all obligations and commitments arising from the Treaty and its associated documents.

2. We expressed satisfaction with the contributions the Treaty had made and was continuing to make to European security. We also voiced the hope that the Fourth Review Conference would review operation and implementation of the adapted CFE Treaty.

3. We reviewed the operation of the CFE Treaty and its associated documents. We concluded that in general the Treaty, which contains important legally binding obligations, was operating in a satisfactory manner.

4. In this context, we noted with satisfaction that the overall holdings of conventional armaments and equipment within the area of application have been further reduced since the last Review Conference and that a number of States Parties voluntarily reduced holdings to a level lower than the levels set in the Treaty. The current levels of holdings confirm this success. After reductions or destructions of more than 60,000 pieces of equipment limited by the Treaty, the current levels of holdings are under 25,000 for battle tanks for a limit of 40,000; under 45,000 armoured combat vehicles as against the authorized capacity of 60,000; under 29,000 artillery pieces whereas 40,000 are possible as well as under 2,000 attack helicopters and under 8,000 combat aircraft for respective ceilings of 4,000 attack helicopters and 13,600 combat aircraft. In addition, in accordance with related commitments, some 20,000 items of equipment East of the Ural Mountains have been disposed of.

5. The successful elimination of significant offensive capabilities was accompanied by substantial reductions of personnel from about 5.7 million down to less than three million troops in the area of application. The Concluding Act of the Negotiation on Personnel Strength of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE1A) is mainly responsible for this success. No State Party exceeds its overall maximum level for holdings or its national personnel limit. In this context, we welcomed the statement by Ukraine at the Conference concerning the voluntary reduction of its national levels for holdings of treaty-limited equipment and of its national personnel limits.

6. The information concerning the States Parties' military forces that has been shared since 1990, including via tens of thousands of notifications as well as annual information exchanges and more than 5,000 on-site inspections, has allowed the States Parties to verify compliance with the provisions of the Treaty and its associated documents, and has led to increased trust and transparency among States Parties.

7. However, we expressed our concern regarding some States Parties' failure to comply with the Treaty and its associated documents. The problem of treaty-limited equipment unaccounted for and uncontrolled within the area of application remains a concern that affects all CFE States Parties. We also expressed regret that it is not possible to verify compliance with the Treaty in certain geographic areas. This affects the operation of the Treaty and complicates its implementation.

8. We reviewed the implementation of the CFE Treaty and its associated documents. We concluded that, for the most part, the CFE Treaty was operating and being implemented in a satisfactory manner.

Implementation issues resolved:

8.A. Numerical limits and related issues:

The overall numerical ceilings applicable to the five conventional armaments and equipment categories limited by the Treaty provided for by Article IV are generally observed.

8.A.1. All States Parties comply with their overall maximum level for holdings. In some cases, the actual holdings of equipment are considerably lower than permitted ceilings.

8.A.2. National personnel limits laid down in the Concluding Act of the Negotiation on Personnel Strength are not exceeded.

8.A.3. By mid-2003, the Russian Federation had fulfilled the former Soviet Union's obligation pertaining to the conventional armaments and equipment transferred East of the Urals.

8.A.4. At the beginning of 2005, the Russian Federation notified the destruction of the last armaments and equipment which had been declared to be non-combat capable and which had been held at the St. Petersburg and Kushchevskaya maintenance facilities.

8.A.5. No State Party now exceeds the number of decommissioned conventional armaments and equipments limited by the Treaty as permitted pursuant to Article IX.

8.A.6. All States Parties comply with the numerical limitations in Article XI which apply to armoured vehicle launched bridges in active units.

8.A.7. All States Parties comply with the political obligations regarding land-based naval aircraft. Actual numbers remain well below the agreed ceilings for the individual States Parties. In addition, no State Party keeps permanently land-based attack helicopters with its naval forces within the area of application.

8.B. Notifications and inspections:

8.B .1. Despite a lower number of inspection quotas resulting from the reduction of conventional armed forces in many States Parties, the verification regime is being implemented with the same rigor and high intensity as before.

8.B.2. Multinational inspection teams have proved to be beneficial to the operation of the Treaty and have provided an additional measure of transparency and cooperation.

8.B.3. The exchanges of information and notifications have provided a high degree of transparency. During declared site inspections, the counted holdings of equipment subject to the Treaty were consistent with the data given in the exchanges of information almost without exception.

9. However, a range of continuing implementation issues were identified and discussed among the States Parties. While all of these issues are important and should be resolved in order to maintain the integrity and smooth operation of the Treaty, States Parties noted that some of these issues have political as well as technical significance. These include:

9.A. Continued stationing of forces on the territory of another State Party without host state agreement.

9.B. The continuing problem of treaty-limited equipment uncontrolled and unaccounted for by a State Party within the area of application.

9.C. Unilateral reinterpretation of how to categorize and report items in the Protocol on Existing Types of Conventional Armaments and Equipment (POET).

9.D. Exceeding current Treaty limits for the flank region.

9.E. Exceeding overall and sub-zonal ceilings for equipment in active units.

9.F. Continued failure to account for treaty-limited equipment reportedly transferred from one CFE State Party to another between 1994 and 1996.

9.G. The failure by some to make notifications of changes of 10 percent or more in unit holdings, or to properly report the location of all objects of verification, as required by the Treaty, remains a concern.

10. We noted that the Joint Consultative Group has not completely fulfilled the mandate assigned to it by the First and Second Review Conferences to update the POET and called on the JCG to complete this task before the next review conference, in line with the agreement reached at the First Review Conference that:

-- inaccuracies should be corrected, including by removal of types, models and versions of conventional armament and equipment that do not meet Treaty criteria;

-- the Joint Consultative Group should consider if an annual update of the lists would be appropriate.

11. We reviewed efforts to deal with the problem of TLE unaccounted for and uncontrolled within the area of application (UTLE). Recalling the Final Document of the First Review Conference and mindful of the relevant provisions of the Agreement on Adaptation of the CFE Treaty, we continued to express concern about the presence of such UTLE within the area of application. We noted that this situation adversely affects the operation of the Treaty. We expressed our readiness to continue to address this issue in the Joint Consultative Group, as tasked by the First and the Second Review Conferences and our desire to move forward to address this problem even as work is ongoing on settlement of the conflicts that are among the underlying causes of this problem.

12. We discussed the implementation issues contained in the Annex to this Statement, which require further consideration and resolution in the Joint Consultative Group.

13. We recalled the signature of the Agreement on Adaptation by the Heads of State and Government of the States Parties and the adoption of the CFE Final Act at the OSCE Istanbul Summit on 19th November 1999. The adapted CFE Treaty will provide a new structure of limitations to reflect the changed, and still evolving, European political and security situation and contains enhanced provisions to address important concerns, such as the requirement for 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.

14. We referred to the importance we attach to all the commitments in the Istanbul Summit Declaration and the Final Act, including its Annexes. We recalled that fulfillment of the remaining Istanbul commitments would create the conditions for all States Parties to move forward on ratification of the adapted CFE Treaty. In this context, we reaffirmed our common commitment to entry into force of the adapted CFE Treaty. We welcomed the significant progress achieved since the Second CFE Review Conference, in particular with regard to commitments related to Georgia, and discussed other areas where renewed efforts are needed, especially with respect to the commitments related to the Republic of Moldova.

15. We recall that, when the Agreement on Adaptation enters into force, other participating States of the OSCE whose land territory lies in Europe within the area of application of the Treaty, will be able to apply for accession to the Treaty. We noted that this would offer the opportunity to extend the benefits of the Treaty and welcomed public statements by States not party to the Treaty on their intent to join the CFE regime when possible.

ANNEX: Implementation issues requiring further consideration and resolution in the Joint Consultative Group

1. Mutual understanding of declared sites and common areas (designation of sensitive points/areas)

2. Photography rules

3. Use of GPS during inspections

4. Documenting ambiguities

5. Notification of certain types of armament and equipment

6. Inability to conduct inspections in certain regions

7. Interpretation of counting rules for export/re-export

8. Differentiation between industrial test/research and development

9. Updating of the Protocol on Existing Types

10. Dealing with the problem of TLE unaccounted for and uncontrolled in the area of application

11. Inspection costs

12. Notification of final withdrawal of TLE and AVLBs from Designated Permanent Storage Sites (DPSS)

13. Notification of changes to lists of inspectors and transport crew members

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