Concluding Document of Budapest - Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security (1994) (excerpts)

Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe


5-6 December 1994



[Corrected version dated 21 December 1994]


Towards a Genuine Partnership in a New Era

Legislationline Comment: see in particular paragraphs 31, 36 and 37 IV of the Code of Conduct on Political-Military Aspects of Security.

1. We, the Heads of State or Government of the States participating in the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, have met in Budapest to assess together the recent past, to consider the present and to look to the future. We do so as we approach the Fiftieth Anniversary of the end of World War II and the Twentieth Anniversary of the signing of the Helsinki Final Act, and as we commemorate the Fifth Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

2. We believe in the central role of the CSCE in building a secure and stable CSCE community, whole and free. We reaffirm the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and subsequent CSCE documents. They reflect shared values which will guide our policies, individually and collectively, in all organizations and institutions to which we belong.

3. The CSCE is the security structure embracing States from Vancouver to Vladivostok. We are determined to give a new political impetus to the CSCE, thus enabling it to play a cardinal role in meeting the challenges of the twenty-first century. To reflect this determination, the CSCE will henceforth be known as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

4. The CSCE has been instrumental in overcoming barriers and in managing change throughout our region. Since we last met, there have been further encouraging developments. Most vestiges of the Cold War have disappeared. Free elections have been held and the roots of democracy have spread and struck deeper. Yet the path to stable democracy, efficient market economy and social justice is a hard one.

5. The spread of freedoms has been accompanied by new conflicts and the revival of old ones. Warfare in the CSCE region to achieve hegemony and territorial expansion continues to occur. Human rights and fundamental freedoms are still flouted, intolerance persists and discrimination against minorities is practised. The plagues of aggressive nationalism, racism, chauvinism, xenophobia, anti-semitism and ethnic tension are still widespread. Along with social and economic instability, they are among the main sources of crisis, loss of life and human misery. They reflect failure to apply the CSCE principles and commitments. This situation requires our resolute action. We must work together to ensure full respect for these principles and commitments as well as effective solidarity and co-operation to relieve suffering.

6. We recognize that societies in the CSCE region are increasingly threatened by terrorism. We reiterate our unreserved condemnation of all acts and practices of terrorism, which cannot be justified under any circumstances. We reconfirm our determination to combat terrorism and our commitment for enhanced co-operation to eliminate this threat to security, democracy and human rights.

Budapest, 6 December 1994






The participating States of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE),

Recognizing the need to enhance security co-operation, including through the further encouragement of norms of responsible and co-operative behaviour in the field of security,

Confirming that nothing in this Code diminishes the validity and applicability of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations or of other provisions of international law,

Reaffirming the undiminished validity of the guiding principles and common values of the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris and the Helsinki Document 1992, embodying responsibilities of States towards each other and of governments towards their people, as well as the validity of other CSCE commitments,

Have adopted the following Code of Conduct on politico-military aspects of security:


20. The participating States consider the democratic political control of military, paramilitary and internal security forces as well as of intelligence services and the police to be an indispensable element of stability and security. They will further the integration of their armed forces with civil society as an important expression of democracy.

21. Each participating State will at all times provide for and maintain effective guidance to and control of its military, paramilitary and security forces by constitutionally established authorities vested with democratic legitimacy. Each participating State will provide controls to ensure that such authorities fulfil their constitutional and legal responsibilities. They will clearly define the roles and missions of such forces and their obligation to act solely within the constitutional framework.

22. Each participating State will provide for its legislative approval of defence expenditures. Each participating State will, with due regard to national security requirements, exercise restraint in its military expenditures and provide for transparency and public access to information related to the armed forces.

23. Each participating State, while providing for the individual service member's exercise of his or her civil rights, will ensure that its armed forces as such are politically neutral.

24. Each participating State will provide and maintain measures to guard against accidental or unauthorized use of military means.

25. The participating States will not tolerate or support forces that are not accountable to or controlled by their constitutionally established authorities. If a participating State is unable to exercise its authority over such forces, it may seek consultations within the CSCE to consider steps to be taken.

26. Each participating State will ensure that in accordance with its international commitments its paramilitary forces refrain from the acquisition of combat mission capabilities in excess of those for which they were established.

27. Each participating State will ensure that the recruitment or call-up of personnel for service in its military, paramilitary and security forces is consistent with its obligations and commitments in respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

28. The participating States will reflect in their laws or other relevant documents the rights and duties of armed forces personnel. They will consider introducing exemptions from or alternatives to military service.

29. The participating States will make widely available in their respective countries the international humanitarian law of war. They will reflect, in accordance with national practice, their commitments in this field in their military training programmes and regulations.

30. Each participating State will instruct its armed forces personnel in international humanitarian law, rules, conventions and commitments governing armed conflict and will ensure that such personnel are aware that they are individually accountable under national and international law for their actions.

31. The participating States will ensure that armed forces personnel vested with command authority exercise it in accordance with relevant national as well as international law and are made aware that they can be held individually accountable under those laws for the unlawful exercise of such authority and that orders contrary to national and international law must not be given. The responsibility of superiors does not exempt subordinates from any of their individual responsibilities.

32. Each participating State will ensure that military, paramilitary and security forces personnel will be able to enjoy and exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms as reflected in CSCE documents and international law, in conformity with relevant constitutional and legal provisions and with the requirements of service.

33. Each participating State will provide appropriate legal and administrative procedures to protect the rights of all its forces personnel.


34. Each participating State will ensure that its armed forces are, in peace and in war, commanded, manned, trained and equipped in ways that are consistent with the provisions of international law and its respective obligations and commitments related to the use of armed forces in armed conflict, including as applicable the Hague Conventions of 1907 and 1954, the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the 1977 Protocols Additional thereto, as well as the 1980 Convention on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons.

35. Each participating State will ensure that its defence policy and doctrine are consistent with international law related to the use of armed forces, including in armed conflict, and the relevant commitments of this Code.

36. Each participating State will ensure that any decision to assign its armed forces to internal security missions is arrived at in conformity with constitutional procedures. Such decisions will prescribe the armed forces' missions, ensuring that they will be performed under the effective control of constitutionally established authorities and subject to the rule of law. If recourse to force cannot be avoided in performing internal security missions, each participating State will ensure that its use must be commensurate with the needs for enforcement. The armed forces will take due care to avoid injury to civilians or their property.

37. The participating States will not use armed forces to limit the peaceful and lawful exercise of their human and civil rights by persons as individuals or as representatives of groups nor to deprive them of their national, religious, cultural, linguistic or ethnic identity.