A FRAMEWORK FOR ARMS CONTROL
1. Arms control, including disarmament and confidence- and security-building, is integral to the OSCE’s comprehensive and co-operative concept of security. The strong commitment of the OSCE participating States to full implementation and further development of arms control agreements is essential for enhancing military and political stability within the OSCE area. The positive trends of co-operation, transparency and predictability need to be strengthened.
2. Building on existing arms control measures, the OSCE will seek to develop new ways to deal with security concerns affecting all States in the OSCE area. Such security concerns include inter- or intra-State tensions and conflicts which might spread to affect the security of other States. The goal should be to develop a concept and structure that will support a range of arms control efforts, including on regional matters. At all times it will be important to ensure complementarity between OSCE-wide and regional approaches. Regional arms control efforts should be based inter alia on specific military security issues.
3. In order to provide this conceptual and structural coherence to the OSCE’s efforts, the participating States have decided to establish a Framework for Arms Control, designed to create a web of interlocking and mutually reinforcing arms control obligations and commitments. The Framework will link current and future arms control efforts into a comprehensive structure. It will serve as a guide for future arms control negotiations amongst the participating States, and as a basis for the establishment of a flexible agenda for future work on arms control. The Framework will be an important contribution to wider OSCE efforts in the security field, and will complement ongoing work in the OSCE on a security model for the twenty-first century.
4. The basis for such a web already exists. The CFE Treaty establishes a core of military stability and predictability, which is fundamental to the security of all participating States of the OSCE. The Vienna Document has brought about increased transparency and mutual confidence as regards the military forces and military activities of all OSCE participating States. The Code of Conduct has defined important norms for politico-military aspects of security. These existing obligations and commitments lie at the heart of the OSCE’s concept of co-operative security.
The Treaty on Open Skies, which should enter into force as soon as possible, can make a major contribution to transparency and openness.
The arms control process under OSCE auspices initiated by the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina is an important part of the OSCE’s efforts to strengthen security and stability.
In addition to continued emphasis on the full implementation and appropriate further development of existing agreements, new negotiations and efforts are needed to complement their contribution in order to provide effective responses to the military challenges to the security of the OSCE participating States.
5. The lessons and achievements of past efforts, as well as the purposes, methods and negotiating principles set out in this document together form the basis for addressing the challenges and risks to military security in the OSCE area. Thus, subsequent negotiations and resulting agreements will be related conceptually to existing agreements within the Framework. The Forum for Security Co-operation has a key role to play in the way in which the OSCE links the many separate endeavours that individually and collectively contribute to the security and well-being of all participating States.
6. The purpose of the Framework is:
- to contribute to the further development of the OSCE area as an indivisible common security space by, inter alia, stimulating the elaboration of further arms control measures;
- to provide a basis for strengthening security and stability through tangible steps aimed at enhancing the security partnership among OSCE participating States;
- to enable OSCE participating States to deal with specific security problems in appropriate ways, not in isolation but as part of an overall OSCE undertaking to which all are committed;
- to create a web of interlocking and mutually reinforcing arms control obligations and commitments that will give expression to the principle that security is indivisible for all OSCE participating States;
- to provide structural coherence to the interrelationship between existing and future agreements;
- to provide a basis for the establishment of a flexible agenda for future arms control in the OSCE.
II. CHALLENGES AND RISKS
7. Challenges and risks in the field of military security still exist in the OSCE area and others may arise in the future. The Framework will help to promote co-operative responses to challenges and risks that may be dealt with through arms control measures. In doing so, the following issues, inter alia, should be addressed:
- military imbalances that may contribute to instabilities;
- inter-State tensions and conflicts, in particular in border areas, that affect military security;
- internal disputes with the potential to lead to military tensions or conflicts between States;
- enhancing transparency and predictability as regards the military intentions of States;
- helping to ensure democratic political control and guidance of military, paramilitary and security forces by constitutionally established authorities and the rule of law;
- ensuring that the evolution or establishment of multinational military and political organizations is fully compatible with the OSCE’s comprehensive and co-operative concept of security, and is also fully consistent with arms control goals and objectives;
- ensuring that no participating State, organization or grouping strengthens its security at the expense of the security of others, or regards any part of the OSCE area as a particular sphere of influence;
- ensuring that the presence of foreign troops on the territory of a participating State is in conformity with international law, the freely expressed consent of the host State, or a relevant decision of the United Nations Security Council;
- ensuring full implementation of arms control agreements at all times, including times of crisis;
- ensuring through a process of regular review undertaken in the spirit of co-operative security, that arms control agreements continue to respond to security needs in the OSCE area;
- ensuring full co-operation, including co-operation in the implementation of existing commitments, in combating terrorism in all its forms and practices.
III. NEGOTIATING PRINCIPLES
8. Interlocking and mutually reinforcing arms control agreements are the logical consequence of the principle of the indivisibility of security. Accordingly, both negotiation of and implementation within the OSCE area of regional or other agreements not binding on all OSCE participating States are a matter of direct interest to all participating States. The OSCE participating States will continue efforts to build confidence and stability through freely negotiated arms control agreements. Arms control regimes will take into account the specific characteristics of the armed forces of individual participating States as well as already agreed commitments and obligations. Drawing on past experience, the OSCE participating States have developed the following principles, to serve as a guide for future negotiations. The applicability of each of these principles will depend on the particular security needs being addressed:
- Sufficiency. Arms control regimes should contain measures designed to ensure that each participating State will maintain only such military capabilities as are commensurate with legitimate individual or collective security needs, and will not attempt to impose military domination over any other participating State.
- Transparency through information exchange. A key element of an effective arms control regime is provision for complete, accurate and timely exchange of relevant information, including the size, structure, location and military doctrine of military forces as well as their activities.
- Verification. The measures adopted should be combined, as appropriate, with verification that is commensurate with their substance and significance. This should include verification sufficiently intrusive to permit an assessment of information exchanged and of the implementation of agreed measures subject to verification, thereby enhancing confidence.
- Limitations on forces. Limitations and, where necessary, reductions are an important element in the continuing search for security and stability at lower levels of forces. Other constraining provisions on armed forces and security-building measures continue to be significant elements in the quest for stability.
IV. GOALS AND METHODS FOR THE FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF ARMS CONTROL
9. Among the goals of arms control and the methods to help strengthen stability and security and increase transparency, co-operation and confidence within the OSCE area should be the following:
- to strengthen the concept of the indivisibility of security;
- to improve existing OSCE-wide measures, based on a continuing evaluation of their effectiveness, and to develop as appropriate new ones, to deal with future and continuing security challenges;
- to move the discussion of regional security issues to a more practical and concrete plane, in order to devise measures aimed at reducing regional instability and military imbalances among OSCE participating States;
- to devise arms control measures for stabilizing specific crisis situations, including by making appropriate use of any relevant existing measures;
- to examine, as appropriate, the issue of limitations on armed forces and constraints on their activities;
- to take due account, in elaborating arms control measures, of the legitimate security interests of each participating State, irrespective of whether it belongs to a politico-military alliance;
- to develop transparency, consultation and co-operation in the evolution or establishment of multinational military and political organizations, recognizing in this context the inherent right of each participating State to choose or change its own security arrangements, including treaties of alliance;
- to ensure greater transparency by providing information to all participating States on the implementation within the OSCE area of regional or other agreements not binding on all OSCE participating States, as agreed by the signatories of such agreements;
- to improve existing verification provisions and to develop new ones, as necessary.
10. The participating States recognize that the full implementation, at all times, of the obligations and commitments they have agreed to makes an indispensable contribution to the achievement of these goals. They intend to continue to follow that implementation closely on a regular basis, and to seek more effective methods of reviewing implementation, including by making the best use of existing expertise and resources.
V. BUILDING A WEB OF ARMS CONTROL AGREEMENTS
11. The participating States have undertaken a variety of obligations and commitments in the field of arms control. Such obligations and commitments are legally or politically binding, and vary in their substance and geographical scope, being global, OSCE-wide, regional or bilateral. The agreements listed in the Annex to this document constitute a basis for a web of interlocking and mutually-reinforcing agreements. The full implementation of the agreements listed is essential for building the collective and individual security of the participating States, irrespective of whether or not they are a party or signatory to these agreements.
12. Building on the results achieved, future work on arms control will address emerging and new challenges as well as further developing transparency, openness and co-operation in the military field. Future arms control agreements may be negotiated separately but would be integral to the web.
ANNEX TO "A FRAMEWORK FOR ARMS CONTROL"
- Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe
- Treaty on Open Skies
- Concluding Act of the Negotiation on Personnel Strength of Conventional Armed
Forces in Europe
- Stabilizing Measures for Localized Crisis Situations
- Principles Governing Conventional Arms Transfers
- Global Exchange of Military Information
- Vienna Document 1994
- Code of Conduct
- Principles Governing Non-Proliferation