Skip navigation

Heads of State sign Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe


19 November 1990 (All day)


At the Paris Summit, Heads of State or Government of CSCE participating States signed the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, a cornerstone of conventional stability and security from the Atlantic to the Urals. (OSCE)
Regarded as the cornerstone of security in the region, the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty) is a legally-binding agreement and the product of five years of negotiations.

Signed at the Paris Summit, the CFE Treaty outlined provisions that aim to establish a military balance between the two alliances, at a lower level of armaments. It laid out equal ceilings for major weapons and equipment systems, which were subsequently translated into national limits for each individual State Party to the Treaty.

The treaty stipulated that arms or equipment over the agreed limits must be destroyed within 40 months of the Treaty entering into force, and called for stringent information exchange and verification programmes.

A special body in Vienna, the Joint Consultative Group, was set up to deal with questions of compliance with the Treaty's provisions.