Agreement Establishing an International Science and Technology Center
The European Atomic Energy Community and European Economic Community, acting as one party, and the United States of America, Japan and the Russian Federation:
Reaffirming the need to prevent the proliferation of technologies and expertise related to weapons of mass destruction -- nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons;
Taking note of the present critical period in the states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (hereinafter referred to as "CIS") and Georgia, a period that includes the transition to a market economy, the developing process of disarmament, and the conversion of industrial-technical potential from military to peaceful endeavors;
Recognizing, in this context, the need to create an International Science and Technology Center that would minimize incentives to engage in activities that could result in such proliferation, by supporting and assisting the activities for peaceful purposes of weapons scientists and engineers in the Russian Federation and, if interested, in other states of the CIS and Georgia;
Recognizing the need to contribute, through the Center's projects and activities, to the transition of the states of the CIS and Georgia to market-based economies and to support research and development for peaceful purposes;
Desiring that Center projects provide impetus and support to participating scientists and engineers in developing long-term career opportunities, which will strengthen the scientific research and development capacity of the states of the CIS and Georgia; and
Realizing that the success of the Center will require strong support from governments, foundations, academic and scientific institutions, and other inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations;
Have agreed as follows:
There is hereby established the International Science and Technology Center (hereinafter referred to as the "Center") as an inter-governmental organization. Each Party shall facilitate, in its territory, the activities of the Center. In order to achieve its objectives, the Center shall have, in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Parties, the legal capacity to contract, to acquire and dispose of immovable and movable property, and to institute and respond to legal proceedings.
A. The Center shall develop, approve, finance, and monitor science and technology projects for peaceful purposes, 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 and Georgia.
B. The objectives of the Center shall be:
i. To give weapons scientists and engineers, particularly those who possess knowledge and skills related to weapons of mass destruction or missile delivery systems, in the Russian Federation and, if interested, in other states of the CIS and Georgia, opportunities to redirect their talents to peaceful activities; and
ii. To contribute thereby through its projects and activities: to 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, of supporting basic and applied research and technology development, inter alia, in the fields of environmental protection, energy production, and nuclear safety, and of promoting the further integration of scientists of the states of the CIS and Georgia into the international scientific community.
In order to achieve its objectives, the Center is authorized to:
i. Promote and support, by use of funds or otherwise, science and technology projects in accordance with Article II of this Agreement;
ii. Monitor and audit Center projects in accordance with Article VIII of this Agreement;
iii. Establish appropriate forms of cooperation with governments, inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations (which shall, for the purposes of this Agreement, include the private sector), and programs;
iv. Receive funds or donations from governments, inter-governmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations;
v. Establish branch offices as appropriate in interested states of the CIS and Georgia; and
vi. Engage in other activities as may be agreed upon by all the Parties.
A. The Center shall have a Governing Board and a Secretariat, consisting of an Executive Director, Deputy Executive Directors, and such other staff as may be necessary, in accordance with the Statute of the Center.
B. The Governing Board shall be responsible for:
i. Determining the Center's policy and its own rules of procedure;
ii. Providing overall guidance and direction to the Secretariat;
iii. Approving the Center's operating budget;
iv. Governing the financial and other affairs of the Center, including approving procedures for the preparation of the Center's budget, drawing up of accounts and auditing thereof;
v. Formulating general criteria and priorities for the approval of projects;
vi. Approving projects in accordance with Article VI;
vii. Adopting the Statute and other implementing arrangements as necessary; and
viii. Other functions assigned to it by this Agreement or necessary for the implementation of this Agreement.
Decisions of the Governing Board shall be by consensus of all Parties on the Board, subject to the conditions and terms determined pursuant to Article V, except as provided otherwise in this Agreement.
C. Each of the four Signatory Parties shall be represented by a single vote on the Governing Board. Each shall appoint no more than two representatives to the Governing Board within seven (7) days after entry into force of this Agreement.
D. The Parties shall establish a Scientific Advisory Committee, made up of representatives to be nominated by the Parties, to give to the Board expert scientific and other necessary professional advice within forty-five (45 ) days of every project proposal's submission to the Center; to advise the Board on the fields of research to be encouraged; and to provide any other advice that may be required by the Board.
E. The Governing Board shall adopt a Statute in implementation of this Agreement. The Statute shall establish:
i. The structure of the Secretariat;
ii. The process for selecting, developing, approving, financing, carrying out, and monitoring projects;
iii. Procedures for the preparation of the Center's budget, drawing up of accounts, and auditing thereof;
iv. Appropriate guidelines on intellectual property rights resulting from Center projects and on the dissemination of project results;
v. Procedures governing the participation of governments, inter-governmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations in Center projects; Personnel policies; and
vi. Other arrangements necessary for the implementation of this Agreement.
The Governing Board shall have the discretion and exclusive power to expand its membership to include representatives appointed by Parties that accede to this Agreement, on such conditions and terms as the Board may determine. Parties not represented on the Governing Board and inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations may be invited to participate in Board deliberations, in a non-voting capacity.
Each project submitted for approval by the Governing Board shall be accompanied by the written concurrence of the state or states in which the work is to be carried out. In addition to the prior agreement of that state or those states, the approval of projects shall require the consensus of Parties on the Governing Board, subject to the conditions and terms determined pursuant to Article V, other than such Parties that are states of the CIS and Georgia.
A. Projects approved by the Governing Board may be financed or supported by the Center, or by governments, inter-governmental organizations, or non-governmental organizations, directly or through the Center. Such financing and support of approved projects shall be provided on terms and conditions specified by those providing it, which terms and conditions shall be consistent with this Agreement.
B. Representatives of the Parties on the Board and personnel of the Center Secretariat shall be ineligible for project grants and may not directly benefit from any project grant.
A. The Center shall have the right, within the Russian Federation and other interested states of the CIS and Georgia in which the work is to be carried out:
i. To examine on-site Center project activities, materials, supplies, use of funds, and project-related services and use of funds, upon its notification or, in addition, as specified in a project agreement;
ii. To inspect or audit, upon its request, any records or other documentation in connection with Center project activities and use of funds, wherever such records or documentation are located, during the period in which the Center provides the financing, and for a period thereafter as determined in a project agreement.
The written concurrence required in Article VI shall include the agreement, of both the state or states of the CIS or Georgia in which the work is to be carried out and the recipient institution, to provide the Center with access necessary for auditing and monitoring the project, as required by this paragraph.
B. Any Party represented on the Governing Board shall also have the rights described in paragraph (A), coordinated through the Center, with regard to projects it finances in whole or in part, either directly or through the Center.
C. If it is determined that the terms and conditions of a project have not been respected, the Center or a financing government or organization may, having informed the Board of its reasons, terminate the project and take appropriate steps in accordance with the terms of the project agreement.
A. The Headquarters of the Center shall be located in the Russian Federation.
B. By way of providing material support to the Center, the Government of the Russian Federation shall provide at its own expense a facility suitable for use by the Center, along with maintenance, utilities, and security for the facility.
C. In the Russian Federation, the Center shall have the status of a legal person and, in that capacity, shall be entitled to contract, to acquire and dispose of immovable and movable property, and to institute and respond to legal proceedings.
In the Russian Federation:
a. In determining profits of the Center subject to taxation, funds received by the Center from its founders and sponsors - governments, inter-governmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations - and any interest arising from keeping those funds in banks in the Russian Federation, shall be excluded;
b. The Center, or any branch thereof, shall not be subject to any taxation on property that is subject to taxation under the tax laws of the Russian Federation;
c. Commodities, supplies, and other property provided or utilized in connection with the Center and its projects and activities may be imported, exported from, or used in the Russian Federation free from any tariffs, dues, customs duties, import taxes, and other similar taxes or charges imposed by the Russian Federation;
d. Personnel of the Center who are not Russian nationals shall be exempt from payment of the income tax in the Russian Federation for physical persons;
e. Funds received by legal entities, including Russian scientific organizations, in connection with the Center's projects and activities, shall be excluded in determining the profits of these organizations for the purpose of tax liability;
f. Funds received by persons, in particular scientists or specialists, in connection with the Center's projects or activities shall not be included in those persons' taxable income;
a. The Center, governments, inter-governmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations shall have the right to move funds related to the Center and its projects or activities, other than Russian currency, into or out of the Russian Federation without restriction. Each shall have the right to so move only amounts not exceeding the total amount it moved into the Russian Federation.
b. To finance the Center and its projects and activities, the Center shall be entitled, for itself and on behalf of the entities referred to in subparagraph (ii) (a), to sell foreign currency on the internal currency market of the Russian Federation.
iii. Personnel of non-Russian organizations taking part in any Center project or activity and who are not Russian nationals shall be exempt from the payment of any customs duties and charge upon personal or household goods imported into, exported from, or used in the Russian Federation for the personal use of such personnel or members of their families.
A. The Parties shall closely cooperate in order to facilitate the settlement of legal proceedings and claims under this Article.
B. Unless otherwise agreed, the Government of the Russian Federation shall, in respect of legal proceedings and claims by Russian nationals or organizations, other than contractual claims, arising out of the acts or omissions of the Center or its personnel done in the performance of the Center's activities:
i. Not bring any legal proceedings against the Center and its personnel;
ii. Assume responsibility for dealing with legal proceedings and claims brought by the aforementioned against the Center and its personnel;
iii. Hold the Center and its personnel harmless in respect of legal proceedings and claims referred to in subparagraph (ii) above.
C. The provisions of this Article shall not prevent compensation or indemnity available under applicable international agreements or national law of any state.
D. Nothing in paragraph (B) shall be construed to prevent legal proceedings or claims against Russian nationals or permanent residents of the Russian Federation.
A. Personnel of the Governments of the States or the European Communities that are Parties present in the Russian Federation in connection with the Center or its projects and activities shall be accorded, by the Government of the Russian Federation, status equivalent to that accorded to administrative and technical staff under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 18 April 1961.
B. Personnel of the Center shall be accorded, by the Government of the Russian Federation, the privileges and immunities usually accorded to officials of international organizations, namely:
i. Immunity from arrest, detention, and legal process, including criminal, civil, and administrative jurisdiction, in respect of words spoken or written and all acts performed by them in their official capacity;
ii. Exemption from any income, social security, or other taxation, duties or other charges, except those that are normally incorporated in the price of goods or paid for services rendered;
iii. Immunity from social security provisions;
iv. Immunity from immigration restrictions and from alien registration;
v. Right to import their furniture and effects, at the time of first taking up their post, free of any Russian tariffs, dues, customs duties, import taxes, and other similar taxes or charges.
C. Any Party may notify the Executive Director of any person, other than those in paragraphs (A) and (D), who will be in the Russian Federation in connection with the Center's projects and activities. A Party making such a notification shall inform such persons of their duty to respect the laws and regulations of the Russian Federation. The Executive Director shall notify the Government of the Russian Federation, which shall accord to such persons the benefits in subparagraph (B)(ii) - (v) and a status adequate for carrying out the project or activity.
D. Representatives of the Parties on the Governing Board, the Executive Director, and the Deputy Executive Directors shall be accorded by the Government of the Russian Federation, in addition to the privileges and immunities listed in paragraphs (A) and (B) of this Article, the privileges, immunities, exemptions, and facilities generally accorded to the representatives of members and executive heads of international organizations in accordance with international law.
E. Nothing in this Article shall require the Government of the Russian Federation to provide the privileges and immunities provided in paragraphs (A), (B), and (D) of this Article to its nationals or its permanent residents.
F. Without prejudice to the privileges, immunities, and other benefits provided above, it is the duty of all persons enjoying privileges, immunities, and benefits under this Article to respect the laws and regulations of the Russian Federation.
G. Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to derogate from privileges, immunities, and other benefits granted to personnel described in paragraphs (A) to (D) under other agreements.
Any state desiring to become Party to this Agreement shall notify the Governing Board through the Executive Director. The Governing Board shall provide such a state with certified copies of this Agreement through the Executive Director. Upon approval by the Governing Board, that state shall be permitted to accede to this Agreement. This Agreement shall enter into force for the state on the thirtieth (30th) day after the date on which its instrument of accession is deposited. In the event that a state or states of the CIS and Georgia accede to this Agreement, that state or those states shall comply with the obligations undertaken by the Government of the Russian Federation in Articles VIII, IX(C), and X-XII.
Although nothing in this Agreement limits the rights of the Parties to pursue projects without resort to the Center, the Parties shall make their best efforts to use the Center when pursuing projects of character and objectives appropriate to the Center.
A. This Agreement shall be subject to review by the Parties two years after entry into force. This review shall take into account the financial commitments and payments of the Parties.
B. This Agreement may be amended by written agreement of all the Parties.
C. Any Party may withdraw from this Agreement six months after written notification to the other Parties.
Any question or dispute relating to the application or interpretation of this Agreement shall be the subject of consultation between the Parties.
With a view to financing projects as soon as possible, the four Signatories shall establish necessary interim procedures until the adoption of the Statute by the Governing Board. These shall include, in particular, the appointment of an Executive Director and necessary staff and the establishment of procedures for the submission, review, and approval of projects.
A. This Agreement shall be open for signature by the European Atomic Energy Community and European Economic Community, acting as one party, the United States of America, Japan and the Russian Federation.
B. Each signatory shall notify the others through diplomatic channels that it has completed all internal procedures necessary to be bound by this Agreement.
C. This Agreement shall enter into force upon the thirtieth (30th) day after the date of the last notification described in paragraph (B).
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto, have signed this Agreement.
Done at Moscow on 27 November 1992, in the Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish languages each text being equally authentic.
The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.
ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.