This year Belgium will chair the fourth Review Conference of the "Open Skies" treaty from 7 to 9 October. This conference takes place every five years. The previous three conferences were organized by Germany (2005), the USA (2010) and Belarus (2015). The "Open Skies" treaty offers the possibility to carry out unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of the 34 states parties. In this way it is possible to fly over the territories of treaty states in order to make photo and radar images of each other's territory. Since the entry into force of the treaty in 2002, 1534 observation flights have already been carried out. The "Open Skies" treaty is designed to increase mutual understanding and trust by giving all treaty states - regardless of their size - the opportunity to obtain information about military or other activities of interest to them.
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