Warsaw Treaty Organization (WTO)

Organisation du Traité de Varsovie
Organizacija Varsavskogo Dogovora

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1955-05-14 Warsaw Poland


14 May 1955, Warsaw (Poland), on signature of the T-XT5540 - Warsaw Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance (Warsaw Pact), by the Heads of Governments of Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and USSR. Signature of the Treaty supplemented the bilateral long-term alliance treaties already in existence between the USSR and on the one hand and, on the other, Czechoslovakia (1943), Poland (1945), Bulgaria (1948), Hungary (1948), Romania (1948). The Treaty came into effect 5 Jun 1955. A further declaration on the nature of the Treaty was made at a meeting of representatives of member countries, 28 Jan 1956, Prague (Czechoslovakia). In Aug 1961 Albania ceased to participate in the work of the Organization and in Sep 1968 withdrew from WTO. The meeting held in Mar 1969, Budapest (Hungary), established the Committee of Defence Ministers and the Military Council. A Convention was signed, Apr 1973, Moscow (USSR), on the legal status, privileges and immunities of staff of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces. The Treaty was extended for a further ten years in Jun 1975. In Nov 1976, Bucharest (Romania), the Committee of Foreign Ministers was set up to reinforce political cooperation (first meeting in May 1977, Moscow). The Treaty was extended, 26 Apr 1985, for a further 20 years, until the year 2005, with an option to renew it then for a further 10 years. With the reunification of Germany in 1990, the German Democratic Republic no longer existed as a separate state and was therefore no longer a member. Following decision of meeting of foreign and defence ministers, 18 Feb 1991, Budapest, the military structure of the Pact was to be dismantled by 1 Apr 1991. Final meeting held 1 Jul 1991. Political dissolution was expected by Mar 1992, but the splitting of the Soviet Union into its republics and the formation of the F-XF2417 - Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Dec 1991, meant that the Pact effectively ceased to exist at that date.


Create a system of collective security in Europe based on the participation of all European countries, irrespective of their social and political structure; ensure joint defence in the event of an armed attack in Europe on one or more member countries; provide a framework for mutual consultation on all important international questions relating to security and political cooperation; promote the further development and strengthening of the economic and cultural ties between member countries. Develop friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance in accordance with the principles of respect for the independence and sovereignty of member countries and non-intervention in their domestic affairs.


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Political Consultative Committee (PCC), consisting of the First Secretaries of the Communist or Workers' Parties, the Heads of Government and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of member countries, acts as the supreme coordinating and policy-making body and is responsible for carrying out consultations, considering any matter arising in connection with the application of the Treaty and providing overall direction. Since 1972, meetings have taken place in alternate years and have been held by rotation in each of the member countries. Joint Command of the Armed Forces, composed of the Deputy Ministers of Defence of the member countries, with the title of Deputy Commanders-in-Chief, is headed by the Commander-in-Chief. Committee of Defence Ministers (CDM) (holding annual meetings in each country in turn) acts as a permanent advisory organ providing direct communication with national defence authorities. Military Council (normally meeting twice a year in each country in turn, under the chairmanship of the Commander-in-Chief of the Joint Armed Forces) is a consultative body composed of the national Chiefs-of-Staff or Deputy Ministers of Defence with the status of Deputy Commanders-in-Chief of the Joint Armed Forces. Committee of Foreign Ministers. Armaments Committee. Technical Committee of the Joint Armed Forces. Combined General Staff. Joint Secretariat.

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Subjects *

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UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions



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** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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