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The HELSINKI ACCORDS, HELSINKI FINAL ACT, or HELSINKI DECLARATION was the final act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe held in Finlandia Hall of Helsinki
Helsinki
, Finland
Finland
, during July and August 1, 1975. Thirty-five states, including the USA , Canada
Canada
, and all European states except Albania and Andorra
Andorra
, signed the declaration in an attempt to improve relations between the Communist bloc and the West. The Helsinki
Helsinki
Accords, however, were not binding as they did not have treaty status.

CONTENTS

* 1 Articles * 2 Ford Administration * 3 Reception and impact * 4 Signatory states

* 5 Heads of states, heads of governments

* 5.1 International organizations * 5.2 Absent

* 6 References * 7 External links

ARTICLES

The Accords' "Declaration on Principles Guiding Relations between Participating States" (also known as "The Decalogue") enumerated the following 10 points:

* Sovereign equality, respect for the rights inherent in sovereignty

* Refraining from the threat or use of force * Inviolability of frontiers * Territorial integrity of States * Peaceful settlement of disputes * Non-intervention in internal affairs * Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief * Equal rights and self-determination of peoples * Co-operation among States * Fulfillment in good faith of obligations under international law

FORD ADMINISTRATION

When former vice U.S. President Gerald R. Ford came into office in August 1974, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) negotiations had been underway for nearly two years. Although the USSR was looking for a rapid resolution, none of the parties were quick to make concessions, particularly on human rights points. Throughout much of the negotiations, U.S. leaders were disengaged and uninterested with the process. In an August 1974 conversation between President Ford and his National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
, Dr. Kissinger commented on the CSCE that "we never wanted it but we went along with the Europeans ... t is meaningless—it is just a grandstand play to the left. We are going along with it."

In the months leading up to the conclusion of negotiations and signing of the Helsinki
Helsinki
Final Act, the American public, in particular Americans of Eastern European descent voiced their concerns that the agreement would mean the acceptance of Soviet domination over Eastern Europe and incorporation of the Baltic states
Baltic states
into the USSR. President Ford was concerned about this as well and sought clarification on this issue from the U.S. National Security Council . The U.S. Senate was also worried about the fate of the Baltic States and the CSCE in general. Several Senators wrote to President Ford requesting that the final summit stage be delayed until all matters had been settled, and in a way favorable to the West.

Shortly before President Ford departed for Helsinki, he held a meeting with a group of Americans of Eastern European background, and stated definitively that U.S. policy on the Baltic States would not change, but would be strengthened since the agreement denies the annexation of territory in violation of international law and allows for the peaceful change of borders.

According to Ford, "The Helsinki
Helsinki
documents involve political and moral commitments aimed at lessening tension and opening further the lines of communication between peoples of East and West. ... We are not committing ourselves to anything beyond what we are already committed to by our own moral and legal standards and by more formal treaty agreements such as the United Nations Charter and Declaration of Human Rights. ... If it all fails, Europe will be no worse off than it is now. If even a part of it succeeds, the lot the people in Eastern Europe will be that much better, and the cause of freedom will advance at least that far." The speech, however, did not have much effect. The volume of mail against the Helsinki
Helsinki
agreement continued to grow. The American public was still unconvinced that U.S. policy on the incorporation of the Baltic States would not be changed by the Helsinki
Helsinki
Final Act. Despite protests from all around, Ford decided to move forward and sign the agreement.

Soon after the return from Helsinki, A. Denis Clift of the National Security Council urged Secretary Kissinger to support the creation of a quarterly report by the NSC Under Secretaries Committee on Helsinki Final Act compliance. Clift believed that the administration needed to be prepared for criticism from American Eastern European ethnic groups and media if the signatories are not in compliance. Kissinger and President Ford agreed and an order was issued to the committee. Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, the venue for the Helsinki
Helsinki
Accords conference

RECEPTION AND IMPACT

The document was seen both as a significant step toward reducing Cold War tensions and as a major diplomatic boost for the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
at the time, due to its clauses on the inviolability of national frontiers and respect for territorial integrity, which were seen to consolidate the USSR's territorial gains in Eastern Europe following the Second World War . Considering objections from Canada
Canada
, Spain
Spain
, Ireland and other states, the Final Act simply stated that "frontiers" in Europe should be stable but could change by peaceful internal means. :65 U.S. President Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
also reaffirmed that US non-recognition policy of the Baltic states
Baltic states
' ( Lithuania
Lithuania
, Latvia
Latvia
and Estonia
Estonia
) forced incorporation into the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
had not changed. Leaders of other NATO
NATO
member states made similar statements. :65

However, the civil rights portion of the agreement provided the basis for the work of the Moscow Helsinki
Helsinki
Group , an independent non-governmental organization created to monitor compliance to the Helsinki
Helsinki
Accords (which evolved into several regional committees, eventually forming the International Helsinki
Helsinki
Federation and Human Rights Watch ). While these provisions applied to all signatories, the focus of attention was on their application to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and its Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
allies, including Bulgaria
Bulgaria
, Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary
Hungary
, Poland
Poland
, and Romania
Romania
. Soviet propaganda presented the Final Act as a great triumph for Soviet diplomacy and for Brezhnev personally. :65

According to the Cold War
Cold War
scholar John Lewis Gaddis
John Lewis Gaddis
in his book The Cold War: A New History (2005), " Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev
had looked forward, Anatoly Dobrynin
Anatoly Dobrynin
recalls, to the 'publicity he would gain... when the Soviet public learned of the final settlement of the postwar boundaries for which they had sacrificed so much'... ' gradually became a manifesto of the dissident and liberal movement'... What this meant was that the people who lived under these systems — at least the more courageous — could claim official permission to say what they thought." Chancellor of Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
(West Germany) Helmut Schmidt , Chairman of the State Council of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) Erich Honecker
Erich Honecker
, U.S. president Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
and Austrian chancellor Bruno Kreisky

Albania refused to participate in the Accords, with its leader Enver Hoxha arguing that, "All the satellites of the Soviets with the possible exception of the Bulgarians want to break the shackles of the Warsaw Treaty, but they cannot. Then their only hope is that which the Helsinki
Helsinki
document allows them, that is, to strengthen their friendship with the United States
United States
of America and the West, to seek investments from them in the form of credits and imports of their technology without any restrictions, to allow the church to occupy its former place, to deepen the moral degeneration, to increase the anti-Sovietism, and the Warsaw Treaty will remain an empty egg-shell."

The Helsinki
Helsinki
Accords served as the groundwork for the later Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
(OSCE), established under the Paris Charter .

SIGNATORY STATES

In French alphabetical order:

* Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
* German Democratic Republic * Austria
Austria
* Belgium
Belgium
* Bulgaria
Bulgaria
* Canada
Canada
* Cyprus
Cyprus
* Denmark
Denmark
* Spain
Spain
* United States
United States
of America * Finland
Finland
* France
France
* United Kingdom
United Kingdom
* Greece
Greece
* Hungary
Hungary
* Ireland * Iceland
Iceland
* Italy
Italy
* Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
* Luxembourg
Luxembourg
* Malta
Malta
* Monaco
Monaco
* Norway
Norway
* Netherlands
Netherlands
* Poland
Poland
* Portugal
Portugal
* Romania
Romania
* San Marino
San Marino
* Holy See
Holy See
* Sweden
Sweden
* Switzerland
Switzerland
* Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
* Turkey
Turkey
* Union of Soviet Socialist Republics * Yugoslavia

HEADS OF STATES, HEADS OF GOVERNMENTS

* Helmut Schmidt , Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
* Erich Honecker
Erich Honecker
, Chairman of the Council of State of the German Democratic Republic * Bruno Kreisky , Chancellor of Austria
Austria
* Leo Tindemans , Prime Minister of Belgium
Belgium
* Todor Zhivkov , Chairman of the State Council of Bulgaria
Bulgaria
* Pierre Trudeau
Pierre Trudeau
, Prime Minister of Canada
Canada
* Makarios III
Makarios III
, President of Cyprus
Cyprus
* Anker Jørgensen , Prime Minister of Denmark
Denmark
* Carlos Arias Navarro
Carlos Arias Navarro
, Prime Minister of Spain
Spain
* Urho Kekkonen , President of Finland
Finland
* Valéry Giscard d’Estaing , President of France
France
and Co-Prince of Andorra
Andorra
* Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
, President of the United States
United States
* Harold Wilson , Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
* Konstantinos Karamanlis , Prime Minister of Greece
Greece
* János Kádár
János Kádár
, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Hungary
Hungary
* Liam Cosgrave , Taoiseach
Taoiseach
of Ireland * Geir Hallgrímsson , Prime Minister of Iceland
Iceland
* Aldo Moro
Aldo Moro
, Prime Minister of Italy
Italy
* Walter Kieber , Prime Minister of Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
* Gaston Thorn , Prime Minister of Luxembourg
Luxembourg
* Dom Mintoff , Prime Minister of Malta
Malta
* André Saint-Mleux , Minister of State of Monaco
Monaco
* Trygve Bratteli , Prime Minister of Norway
Norway
* Joop den Uyl
Joop den Uyl
, Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Netherlands
* Edward Gierek
Edward Gierek
, First Secretary of the Polish United Workers\' Party * Francisco da Costa Gomes , President of Portugal
Portugal
* Nicolae Ceauşescu
Nicolae Ceauşescu
, President of Romania
Romania
* Gian Luigi Berti , Captain Regent of San Marino
San Marino
* Agostino Casaroli , Cardinal Secretary of State * Olof Palme
Olof Palme
, Prime Minister of Sweden
Sweden
* Pierre Graber , President of the Swiss Confederation * Gustáv Husák
Gustáv Husák
, President of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
* Süleyman Demirel
Süleyman Demirel
, Prime Minister of Turkey
Turkey
* Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev
, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
* Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito
, President of Yugoslavia

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

* Kurt Waldheim
Kurt Waldheim
, Secretary-General of the United Nations

ABSENT

* Joan Martí Alanis , Co-Prince of Andorra
Andorra
and Bishop of Urgell * Mehmet Shehu
Mehmet Shehu
, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Socialist People\'s Republic of Albania

REFERENCES

* ^ Encyclopædia Britannica. Helsinki
Helsinki
Accords. Available at: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/260615/Helsinki-Accords * ^ Ford, Gerald ; Kissinger, Henry ; Scowcroft, Brent (August 15, 1974). President Ford– Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
memcon (August 15, 1972). Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library. Wikisource
Wikisource
. p. 5. * ^ Parallel Archive http://hdl.handle.net/10345/3615 * ^ Parallel Archive http://hdl.handle.net/10345/3646 * ^ A B Parallel Archive http://hdl.handle.net/10345/3648 * ^ Ford, Gerald (July 25, 1974). " Statement". President Ford–Eastern Europe Advocates memcon (July 25, 1965). Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library. Wikisource
Wikisource
. pp. 6–22. * ^ Parallel Archive http://hdl.handle.net/10345/3961 * ^ Parallel Archive http://hdl.handle.net/10345/3653 * ^ A B C Hiden, John; Vahur Made; David J. Smith (2008). The Baltic question during the Cold War. Routledge. p. 209. ISBN 0-415-37100-7 . * ^ McHugh, James T.; James S. Pacy (2001). Diplomats without a country: Baltic diplomacy, international law, and the Cold War. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-313-31878-8 . * ^ Enver Hoxha. The Superpowers. Tiranë: 8 Nëntori Publishing House. 1986.

EXTERNAL LINKS

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