Security and defense
Armenia in the international system of conventional arms control
The relevant divisions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pursue the implementation of international agreements, conventions and other relevant documents within the framework of the United Nations and OSCE, including issues related to conventional arms control, disarmament and armament reduction, as well as other disarmament issues, covering anti-personnel landmines, cluster munitions, certain conventional weapons, etc. The major aim of the mentioned activities is to enhance regional and global security and confidence building.
The Ministry also leads the implementation of the decisions of the UN Security Council and General Assembly as well as those of the OSCE Conflict Prevention Center and the Forum for Security Co-operation. In addition, there is also cooperation with various authoritative analytical centers and think tanks of the field.
These works are carried out in close cooperation with the RA Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Defense, Police, National Security Service, Ministry of Justice, as well as other departments.
- United Nations
There is a practice of submitting voluntary reports and information to the United Nations on military expenditure, equipment, technology, national legislation, arms transfers, exports and imports of small arms and light weapons, etc.
The number and volume of the reports submitted by the Republic of Armenia is determined by the number of resolutions adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations and the priorities of the RA foreign policy in the given period.
There is also a requirement of annual periodic reporting to the UN Commission on Disarmament, according to which each member state is obliged to submit annual reports to the UN Commission on Disarmament.
For instance, from the day of the inception of the UN Register of Conventional Arms in 1992 UN member-states submit annual official information on export and import of seven categories of conventional arms: battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery, combat aircrafts, attack helicopters, warships and missiles. This field also covers issues related to certain types of weapons and munitions regulated by various UN agreements and conventions, such as the Ottawa Convention on the Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines, the UN Convention on Certain Weapons with its five protocols and the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Armenia is not a member to any of these UN agreements. However, Armenia as an observer state, participates in relevant meetings and conferences within the framework thereof. At the same time, as an expression of transparency and confidence building measures, every year Armenia voluntarily provides information on anti-personnel mines to the UN and the OSCE.
Participation in the UN peacekeeping operations
Armenia attaches great importance to its participation in international peacekeeping operations. In this regard, the continuous cooperation with the UN Department of Peacekeeping operations (DPKO) is of key significance. Since 2011 Armenia has been engaged in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon as an observer and, on November 26, 2014, the first peacekeeping unit departed to the area of deployment.
- Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
The main OSCE institutions in the field of arms control, disarmament and security cooperation are the Forum for Security Cooperation (FSC) and the Conflict Prevention Center (CPC). The Joint Consultative Group is also a body of the OSCE, yet it operates only for the member countries of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.
The FSC’s focuses on the Vienna Document of 1999, Code of Conduct, Global Exchange of the Military Information, as well as issues on Anti-Personnel Landmines, Small Arms and Light Weapons, national practice on brokering and control of armaments, export control, etc. All of them envisage annual exchange of relevant information, as for the Vienna Document, there are also inspections and evaluation visits, to verify the fulfillment of the member-states obligations according to the document.
The OSCE Annual Security Review Conference, and the OSCE Annual Implementation Assessment Meeting, as well as the OSCE Meeting to Review the Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons are the major tasks of the OSCE FSC and CPC. These are the major tools of the OSCE to reflect upon and evaluate the implementation of the OSCE Confidence and Security Building Measures.
- 3. The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty)
The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe is a legally binding international arms control instrument with an aim to minimize challenges and concerns related to conventional arms in the European region, to strengthen security of the member states and ensure confidence and transparency in arms control.
Unlike other OSCE arms control regimes, the Treaty, being a legally binding document, requires current and annual exchange of military information, as well as contains provisions on certification, verification visits and arms reductions.
- Azerbaijan's violation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe
The Republic of Azerbaijan has openly and continuously demonstrated its disregard towards the fulfillment of its obligations under the CFE Treaty. A study of official sources demonstrates that Azerbaijan's actual possessions of conventional weapons has been exceeding the official data declared by that country for years. Since 2006, Armenia has repeatedly raised this issue in the OSCE and the UN, as well as in other international organizations.
In an environment of total impunity, the widespread use of cluster munitions and other prohibited weapons by Azerbaijan against the civilian population of Nagorno-Karabakh during 2020 44-day war, as well as the continuous aggression against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia revealed the ineffectiveness of the aforementioned transparency and confidence building measures.