Monday, June 7, 2010
This week, the United States is chairing the five-year Review Conference for the Treaty on Open Skies in Vienna, Austria. The following information is taken from a press release by the U.S. State Department:
There are currently 34 State Parties to the Treaty, "stretching from Vancouver in the west to Vladivostok in the east. [The Parties] will assess implementation of the Treaty during the previous five years and discuss future challenges and goals. Technology enhancements for the sensors and aircraft will be the primary focus of discussion. The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most wide-ranging international arms control efforts to date to promote openness and transparency in military forces and activities. As such, the Treaty provides a key mechanism in support of U.S. Euro-Atlantic security objectives as recently outlined by Vice President Biden and Secretary Clinton. The Treaty on Open Skies established a regime for unarmed aerial observation flights over the territories of its signatories. The Treaty is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants, regardless of size, a direct role in gathering and sharing information through aerial imaging of military forces and activities of concern to them."