The Hungarian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence issued a joint statement at the anniversary of the signing and entering into force of the Treaty on Open Skies, which allows for unarmed observation flights over the entire territory of its participants
The 20th anniversary of the signing and the 10th anniversary of the entering into force of the Treaty on Open Skies, of which Hungary and Canada are depository states, are celebrated this spring. The Ministries’ communiqué says observing all the provisions of the treaty largely contributes to the strengthening of trust, security, and stability in the area of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and reflects the State Parties’ efforts to cooperate in order to promote openness and transparency increasing trust. The Ministries give priority to the implementation of arms control agreements, in which Hungary as a depository state pays particular attention to the Treaty on Open Skies.
The Treaty on Open Skies, which allows for unarmed observation flights over the entire territory of its participants from Vancouver to Vladivostok, was signed by 25 states on 24 March 1992 in Helsinki. The current number of State Parties amounts to 34.
The first observation test flight was conducted by Canada over Hungary on January 4-7, 1990 in the preparatory stage of the treaty. The legally binding treaty which promotes trust and security entered into force on January 1 2002; the State Parties have conducted 846 observation flights over one another’s territory. Hungary is bound to receive four such flights a year and may conduct the same number of flights over other participants’ territory.
On the 20th anniversary of the signing of the treaty and the 10th anniversary of its entering into force, Canada and Hungary jointly organised a reception in the Hungarian Embassy in Vienna. The guest of honor of the ceremony was Rose Gottemoeller, US Under Secretary of State, who pointed out in her speech the results that the treaty achieved in strengthening peace, security, and stability in Europe due to its unprecedented transparency. The ceremony was attended by OSCE ambassadors and military representatives of the State Parties and observer states as well as the former Hungarian ambassador assisting the first negotiations.
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