Statement by the Delegation of Turkey, Working Session IV: Arms Control And Confidence-And Security-Building Measures: Challenges And Opportunities, Annual Security Review Conference

AGİT DT 25.06.2015
Thank you Mr. Moderator.

I would like to thank the keynote speakers for their statements providing valuable input into today's discussions.

Let me start my remarks by emphasizing that comprehensive, cooperative and indivisible security remain the key components of Conventional Arms Control and Confidence and Security Building Measures in Europe.

In facing current and emerging challenges like the crisis in and around Ukraine, we first have to make full use of our existing mechanisms. The relevance and value of these instruments have once again been proven in the face of recent events. At the same time, these events helped us identify those areas where they need improvements.

Turkey does not favour a complete restructuring of the conventional arms control regime. In our view, we already have effective mechanisms, which need upgrading for increased efficiency in light of the new security environment in Europe. We must continue to build upon our collective acquis. At the same time, we must strive for consistent implementation of agreed commitments. Turkey will continue to implement the Treaties and regimes that it is party to in the field of arms control in good faith, while looking into ways of revitalizing and modernizing them with a constructive spirit. Given the already complex nature of the matter, we believe that any future process should be carefully handled in a step by step manner.

The three main pillars of the conventional security architecture in Europe, namely the CFE, the Open Skies Treaty and the Vienna Document are mutually reinforcing, they all have their distinctive merits and cannot substitute one another.

My country strongly believes that the legally binding CFE regime and its components as well as the vision which inspired its creation should be updated and reinforced, but not replaced. Certainly, the requirements emanating from the new security circumstances together with the developments in technology should be taken into account during the modernization process. The idea of negotiating a new arrangement which will include certain selective elements from the CFE regime will not provide security guarantees to all states in the CFE zone of application in equal and satisfactory terms. Departure from the three principles I mentioned at the beginning of my statement, namely, the comprehensive, cooperative and indivisible security, would create a fragmented or multi-tier architecture. Security objectives should therefore, be pursued in a holistic fashion, without creating hierarchy among them. We need to maintain the basic parameters of the CFE Treaty, its legally binding nature, three pillar system of numerical limitations, information exchange and verification and a regional component that preserves the very essence of the flank regime. I have carefully listened to the distinguished panelist from Croatia. When discussing the added value of Dayton Article IV Agreement, we need to remember that it is a component of a comprehensive peace treaty, namely the Dayton Peace Accord. Therefore we need to be careful in projecting certain ideas for applying similar arrangements to other regions in the OSCE area where grey zones or black holes exist due to the unresolved state of protracted conflicts.

As the main OSCE instrument in the field of military transparency and predictability, we very much value the Vienna Document and support its further revision and improved implementation. The Vienna Document has been extensively used in relation to the crisis in and around Ukraine and proved its usefulness. However, the crisis also revealed the limitations of the Vienna Document. Lessons learnt during the crisis in Ukraine in relation to the implementation of the Vienna Document can guide us in the joint efforts to have a meaningful update of the Document. We therefore welcome the discussions held at the FSC to this end.

As for the Open Skies Treaty, we acknowledge the positive contribution it has made to confidence and transparency among its States Parties. Recently we had the opportunity to take stock of its implementation during the past 5 years at the 3rd Review Conference in this very room. Our deliberations showed that, like in other arms control and CSBM regimes, this instrument also proves its usefulness when implemented in full and in good faith.

Mr. Moderator,

We cannot agree that the discussions in conventional arms control are purely technical. No matter how technical they may seem to be, these discussions are in fact very political in nature. At a time when we encounter serious violations of basic OSCE principles and commitments, there is an urgent need for a serious political engagement, preferably at higher levels, in order to have a common understanding on the fundamental tenets of Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security. Otherwise any discussion in vacuum on conventional arms control and CSBM regimes would be futile.

I would like to reiterate Turkey's commitment to preserving, reinforcing and modernizing the European security architecture built on a solid acquis, key principles and commitments.

Thank you.