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  • Agreement establishing an International Science and Technology Centre between the United States of America, Japan and the Russian Federation and, acting as one party, Euratom and the European Economic Community, 1994-

Official Journal Reference

L 409 of 1992-12-31

Legislative Reference

92/3955/CEE of 1992-12-21
To convert to peaceful purposes the know-how of scientists and engineers who possess knowledge and skills related to weapons of mass destruction by developing, approving and financing civilian science and technology projects, which are to be carried out primarily at institutions and facilities located in the Russian Federation and, if interested, in other states of the CIS.

Abstract

The ISTC aims at minimizing the incentives for military scientists in the former Soviet Union to engage in activities which would contribute to the proliferation of technologies and expertise related to weapons of mass destruction or missile delivery systems (covering nuclear, chemical and biological weapons). The various projects and activities sponsored by the ISTC aim to provide impetus and support to the development of long-term non-military career opportunities for participating scientists. In doing so, the ISTC will also contribute to the process of market reform in the CIS states by strengthening the scientific research and development capacity of these states.

The ISTC Agreement was concluded by the EEC by means Council Regulation (EEC) 3955/92 (Official Journal No L 409 of 31.12.1992), and by Euratom by means of Commission Regulation (Euratom) 3956/92 (Official Journal No L 409 of 31.12.1992). The Agreement became operational on 2 March 1994 for an open-ended period, subject to a review by the parties in 1996 after two years of operation.

In addition to the four founding signatories, Sweden, Finland and Georgia became party to the Agreement in 1994.

Subdivision

Two areas:

- To give weapons scientists and engineers in the Russian Federation, and if interested other CIS states, particularly those who possess knowledge and skills related to weapons of mass destruction or missile delivery systems, opportunities to redirect their talents to peaceful activities;

- To contribute through its projects and activities towards the solution of national or international technical problems and, to the wider goals of:
. Reinforcing the transition to market-based economies responsive to civil needs;
. Supporting basic and applied research and technology development, inter alia, in the fields of environmental protection, energy production, and nuclear safety;
. Promoting the further integration of scientists from the states of the CIS into the international scientific Community.

Implementation

The overall implementation of the Agreement is overseen by the Governing Board of the ISTC, which is assisted by a Secretariat and a Scientific Advisory Committee. The Governing Board is responsible for determining the Centre's policy orientation, approving the operating budget, providing overall guidance and direction to the Secretariat, formulating general criteria and priorities for the approval of projects, approving proposals for projects, and any other functions assigned to it by the Agreement or necessary for the implementation of the Agreement.

The Parties to the Agreement are entitled to appoint a maximum of two representatives to the Governing Board. Decisions taken by the Governing Board are reached by consensus, with each of the four founding Parties entitled to a single vote. Parties not represented on the Governing Board and inter-governmental organizations may be invited to participate in Board deliberations in a non-voting capacity.

The Community is represented on the Board by the Presidency of the Council and by the Commission, both appointing one member each. The Commission is generally responsible for the management of matters concerning the Centre and for articulating the position of the Community at meetings of the Board. The Council is kept fully informed of items due to be discussed at these meetings and of the Commission's stance regarding these issues. The position of the Community concerning certain political matters such as the establishment of branch offices of the Centre elsewhere in the CIS and the extension of the ISTC's membership are determined by the Council and expressed within the Board, as a general rule, by the representative of the Council Presidency.

The Scientific Advisory Committee provides the Governing Board with expert scientific and other advice on each project proposal submitted to the ISTC for support. It also provides the Board with advice on the fields of research to be encouraged and any other specialized advice which it may require. The Communities are represented on the ISTC Scientific Advisory Committee by two experts appointed by the Council on the basis of a list proposed by the Commission and containing candidates nominated by the Member States.

The ISTC promotes and supports, by use of funds and other means, science and technology projects which fall within the scope of the Agreement. In order to achieve its objectives, the brief of the ISTC also includes the establishment of appropriate forms of cooperation with governments, inter-governmental organizations (which, for the purposes of this Agreement, includes the private sector), and programmes.

Proposals for projects may be submitted to the Governing Board for approval from concerns in the Russian Federation and other CIS states, providing they are accompanied by the written concurrence of the state, or states, in which the project is to be carried out. A decision to grant funding to a project is taken by consensus within the Governing Board. Whilst the Agreement strongly encourages cooperation between Western scientists and their CIS counterparts, ISTC funding is exclusively reserved for CIS participants.

Projects selected are eligible for ISTC grants of up to 100% of the project costs. Provision is also made enabling the cofinancing of ISTC projects with other sources in the private and/or public sector. In addition, projects approved by the Governing Board may be financed or supported by governments, inter-governmental organizations, or non-governmental organizations either directly or through the Centre.

The Community is contributing ECU 20 million (taken from the TACIS budget) to support the Centre's activities. The contributions of the other ISTC members are as follows: the United States US$ 25 million; Japan US$ 17 million; Sweden US$ 4 million; and Finland US$ 1 million. The Russian Federation, within which the Headquarters of the ISTC is located, will finance the Centre's facilities and various items of local expenditure.

Any state wishing to become a Party to the Agreement must notify the Governing Board, which has the discretion and exclusive power to expand the ISTC's membership.
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