Yesterday, Iceland assumed Chairmanship in the Open Skies Consultative Commission (OSCC), based in Vienna. A total of 34 states are parties to the Open Skies Treaty (OST), negotiated in 1992, including the United States, Russia, Canada and several European states. The OSCC is the implementing body for the OST and the chair rotates every four months between members. The OSCC meets in the OSCE´s headquarters in Vienna and during its tenure Iceland will chair at least four formal meetings of the commission.
The central aim of the Treaty is to increase trust and confidence between parties by giving all participants the possibility to obtain information on military or other activities of concern to them via unarmed observation flights. The Treaty on Open Skies is the most wide-ranging international effort to date to promote openness and transparency of military forces and their activities. Last August, it was announced that since the entering into force in 2002 a total number of 1000 observation flights have been carried out under the Open Skies Treaty.