The purpose of arms control is to regulate the behaviour of countries in such a way as to stabilise the global and regional security environment, diminish the risk of accidental outbreak of war, and pay attention to the possible humanitarian effects related to the use of different forms of weapons.
Increasing trans-national trust and transparency in military issues; imposing restrictions on, diminishing, or banning the use of certain forms of warfare and methods of fighting; anticipation of certain forms of military activities; and controlling the deployment of military forces are some of the possible measures for arms control.
Estonia has joined a number of international conventions of arms control and also performs several arms control obligations.
The Ministry of Defence mostly co-operates in the sphere of arms control with the United Nations (UN) and within the Organisation of Security and Co-operation of Europe (OSCE) framework, but also co-operates within the European Union and NATO framework.
In relation to conventions and agreements, we have joined:
- the OSCE Vienna document 2011
- the Open Sky Convention
- the OSCE Code of Conduct
- the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (the Ottawa Treaty)
- the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects
Estonia’s rights and responsibilities in the sphere of arms control involve more practical outputs, apart from the participation in international meetings and negotiations and representing of Estonia’s view and communication of annual progress reports and information. This more practical output includes the organisation of control visits to armed forces of the other OSCE countries under the 2011 Vienna document and receiving visits from other counties or receiving surveillance flights under the Open Sky Convention and organising similar flights above the territory of other counterparts to the Convention.