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It would also facilitate compliance with existing or future arms control agreements and strengthen conflict prevention and crisis management capabilities within the CSCE. Anton Mazur, head of military security and arms control in the Russian federation delegation, said the treaty had helped to create an atmosphere of transparency in the OSCE region: «We believe that the Open Skies Treaty is a well-functioning instrument in the system of confidence and security measures Vancouver to Vladivostok. Indeed, the last decade of implementation of the Treaty has ensured unprecedented openness and transparency of States Parties. Through the treaty, we have an effective instrument to monitor the implementation of arms control rules. COPENHAGUE, 25 October 2019 – In response to reports that the current US government is considering withdrawing from the «open skies» treaty, a multilateral agreement to establish a system of unarmed observation flights on the territory of 34 States Parties, Filippo Lombardi, chairman of the Political Affairs and Security Committee of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, issued the following statement The Open Skies Treaty is not a conventional weapons control instrument. unlike, for example, its Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) today. Its purpose is not to create a framework for the reduction of existing arsenals, nor to limit the military activities or capabilities of States Parties. The only question is to «promote greater openness and transparency in their military activities,» as the preamble states. Their aim is also to «facilitate compliance with existing and future arms control agreements», including the CFE Treaty, which could not be supplemented by an air inspection regime. In order to promote openness and transparency, the Open Skies Treaty has served as an effective instrument to strengthen the confidence and stability of all States Parties. It helps to build trust and intimacy, not only between states, but also between men; at least 20 people participate in each observation flight, including aircraft crews and observation and surveillance country teams. Yet, more than any other arms control regime that has developed since the end of the Cold War, the Open Skies Treaty represents not only the concept of cooperative security introduced by the OSCE, but also the «magic moment» – in the words of Brian Mulroney – the opening of the Iron Curtain, a moment that is already beginning to fade into our collective memory. It is absolutely not certain that the time has come to close this book, in which other chapters can be written, in a Europe that is not yet fully protected from the shocks of history.

In the text of the Treaty, the States Parties reiterated the CSCE`s commitments to «promote greater openness and transparency in their military activities and to strengthen security through confidence and security measures». In a video address to the conference, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: «The United States remains firmly committed to the success of this treaty. We look forward to working with all of you to ensure that this important tool of openness and cooperation remains effective in the years to come. The concept of «open skies» follows a 1955 proposal by former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Open Skies provides for unarmed observation flights over state or contracting parties to promote confidence, predictability and stability.

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