The OSCE has always promoted the reduction of the risk of conflict between participating States through the development and implementation of measures aimed at ensuring greater transparency, knowledge and mutual trust, based on the exchange of information and the right to perform inspection between participating States.
The main OSCE reference documents on conventional arms control and confidence and security building measures are the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), the Open Skies Treaty and the Vienna Document 2011.
Italy is constantly committed to ensuring the implementation of the activities provided for in these documents. In particular, these are:
- operational activities conducted by OSCE participating States on Italian territory, inspections, evaluation visits and observation flights;
- activities conducted by Italy on the territory of other participating States;
- confidence and security building measures, relating inter alia to the exchange of military information, risk reduction mechanisms and visits to military facilities.
These activities are implemented by the Arms Control Verification and Counter-Proliferation Office of the III Department of the Defense General Staff, in close coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Permanent Mission of Italy to the OSCE, which ensure a constant and necessary national political interface with other OSCE participating States.
Operational activities in Italy entail that staff from the afore-mentioned Defense Office assist foreign inspection personnel throughout their stay in Italy, ensuring the fulfilment of national obligations and constantly monitoring the compliance with established procedures.
Activities abroad are conducted by the same national personnel leading or participating in multinational inspection teams, which are usually comprised of NATO/EU countries. These operational events are part of the foreign inspection activities provided for by the above-mentioned agreements and constitute valuable moments of cooperation with the other countries.
All activities are generally carried out within the planned timeframes and procedures, in a spirit of effective cooperation between the inspected and inspecting countries, thereby contributing to mutual understanding and confidence building.
Italy has many years of experience in the management of operational events and confidence and security building measures in the field of conventional arms control, also thanks to the existing synergy between the Italian MFA (MAECI) and the Ministry of Defense.