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Open Skies Treatyr

Open Skies Treaty

Providing resources to assist Open Skies Treaty implementers with sharing information and keeping up-to-date on the status of observation overflight missions and related activities.

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1,000 Open Skies Treaty Observation Flights

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, 29 August 2013; www.osce.org


A U.S. crew posed beside their OC-135B Open Skies aircraft in Ulan-Ude, Russia after conducting an observation mission over Russia on March 3, 2006. [Photo credit: OSCE]

German and Russian officers discuss the flight plan for the German crew’s observation mission over Russia on August 24, 2004. [Photo credit: OSCE]

Russian officers (right) greeted members of a joint United Kingdom/Croatia crew that flew an observation mission over Russia on August 14, 2006. [Photo credit: OSCE]

A Russian Tu-154 Open Skies aircraft at an airport in Kamchatka, Russia on June 20, 2005. [Photo credit: OSCE]

The 1,000th observation flight under the Open Skies Treaty is a perfect illustration of how openness and transparency can build confidence between nations, said Ambassador Miklós Boros of Hungary, current Chair of the Open Skies Consultative Commission, today.

Thirty-four [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)] participating States are parties to the treaty that allows them to conduct peaceful unarmed aerial observations over each other’s territory.

The Open Skies Treaty was negotiated under OSCE auspices in 1992 and entered into force in 2002. It is the most wide-ranging international effort to date to promote openness and transparency of military forces and their activities, in order to enhance mutual understanding and trust.

The Vienna-based Open Skies Consultative Commission (OSCC) is the implementing body for the treaty, which covers a wide geographical area from Vancouver to Vladivostok.

“With the 1,000 flights carried out over the past 11 years, the Open Skies Treaty is a true success story of the joint efforts of diplomats, civilian and military experts, and the on-site personnel who have been involved in the implementation of the treaty,” said Boros.

“I am confident that even with the availability of modern communication technologies the Treaty will continue to serve its purpose of enhancing security and stability across North America, Europe and Asia.”

The treaty co-depositaries are Canada and Hungary. All 34 parties to the treaty are OSCE participating States.

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