Defence Committee

No. 12 of Session 2002-03



The evidence session previously planned for this Wednesday (26 February), has had to be rescheduled to the following day.  The session will now take place, as follows:

Thursday 27 February 2003 at 1000 am, Committee Room 15

  • Dr Bryan Wells, Director of Proliferation and Arms Control Secretariat, MoD

  • Col Philip Rouse, Assistant Director of Proliferation and Arms Control Secretariat, MoD

  • Kate Smith, Deputy Head of Security Policy Department, FCO

The 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty was designed to limit the holdings and deployment by its 30 signatory states  of various conventional forces including tanks, armoured vehicles, artillery and aircraft.  It included an inspection regime which was provided for in the Arms Control Act 1991.  In 1999 an adaptation to the terms of  that Treaty was agreed, which also extended the inspection regime.  The UK cannot ratify the Adaptation of the original CFE Treaty without first  amending the 1991 Act. The Committee will examine the rationale for and implications of the Arms Control and Disarmament (Inspections) Bill, which makes those necessary amendments.

It will also follow up the work of the previous Defence Committee which examined the 1999 Adaptation Agreement in a report in 2000 (The Adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe, HC 295, published on 2 August 2000),  and recommended, amongst other things, that ratification not take place until Russia complied with its obligations.