STANDING CONSULTATIVE COMMISSION
Today the Standing Consultative Commission (SCC), established under the 1972 ABM Treaty to promote the objectives and implementation of the provisions of the Treaty, concluded a session that began here on September 9. During the session, representatives of the United States, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine completed work on procedures for implementing the September 1997 Agreement on Confidence-Building Measures (CBMA), and conducted the fifth periodic review of the ABM Treaty. The implementing document incorporating those procedures was signed by the SCC heads of delegation yesterday.
The Agreement on Confidence-Building Measures (CBMA), one of the several ABM Treaty-related agreements signed in New York in September 1997, is intended to increase transparency and mutual confidence through notifications and exchanges of information during development and deployment of effective Theater Missile Defense (TMD) Systems. When the CBMA enters into force, following approval by all the signatory governments, the detailed procedures worked out in the SCC will be in place to enable its timely full implementation.
In connection with the completion today of the fifth periodic review of the
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the participants released the text of a "Joint
Statement on the Fifth ABM Treaty Review" (attached).
STANDING CONSULTATIVE COMMISSION
JOINT STATEMENT ON THE FIFTH ABM TREATY REVIEW
In accordance with Article XIV, paragraph 2 of the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems (ABM Treaty) of May 26, 1972, the fifth review of the Treaty, covering the five years of its operation since the last review, was conducted from September 18 through October 14, 1998, in Geneva, Switzerland. The Treaty review was carried out within the framework of the 57th session of the Standing Consultative Commission with the participation of the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and the United States of America.
The sides participating in the ABM Treaty review agreed that the Treaty continues to operate effectively and reaffirmed the fundamental importance of the Treaty, as a cornerstone of strategic stability, for strengthening international security and for promoting the process of further reductions in strategic offensive arms.
The sides noted the importance of the consultative process over the previous five years, and resolved to continue consultations in the future to promote the objectives and implementation of the provisions of the ABM Treaty. In this connection, they emphasized the great importance of the package of agreements signed in New York on September 26, 1997, for the operation of the Treaty under present-day conditions. Upon entry into force, this package -- consisting of the Memorandum of Understanding on succession relating to the ABM Treaty, the First and Second Agreed Statements relating to the demarcation between strategic and non-strategic anti-ballistic missile defenses, the Agreement on Confidence-Building Measures, and the new Regulations of the Standing Consultative Commission -- provides for the effective operation of the Treaty on a multilateral basis, enhances the viability of the Treaty in the context of the development, testing, and deployment of effective non-strategic anti-ballistic missile defenses, and promotes greater openness and trust among the sides. The sides exchanged information on the status of the approval process for these agreements in their countries, and reaffirmed their commitment, as signatory states, to seek their earliest possible entry into force.
The sides reaffirmed their commitment to the ABM Treaty, to continued efforts to strengthen the Treaty, and to enhance its viability and effectiveness in the future.