The Info List - Helsinki Accords

--- Advertisement ---

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
Finlandia Hall
of Helsinki, Finland, during July and August 1, 1975. Thirty-five states, including the US, Canada, and all European states except Albania and Andorra, signed the declaration in an attempt to improve relations between the Communist bloc
Communist bloc
and the West. The Helsinki
Accords, however, were not binding as they did not have treaty status.[1]


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[edit] 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[edit] When former vice US 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, US 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, Dr. Kissinger commented on the CSCE that "we never wanted it but we went along with the Europeans ... [i]t is meaningless—it is just a grandstand play to the left. We are going along with it."[2] In the months leading up to the conclusion of negotiations and signing of the 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 US National Security Council.[3] The US 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.[4] Shortly before President Ford departed for Helsinki, he held a meeting with a group of Americans of Eastern European background, and stated definitively that US 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.[5] According to Ford, "The 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."[6] The speech, however, did not have much effect. The volume of mail against the Helsinki
agreement continued to grow.[5] The American public was still unconvinced that US policy on the incorporation of the Baltic States would not be changed by the Helsinki
Final Act. Despite protests from all around, Ford decided to move forward and sign the agreement.[7] 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.[8]

Finlandia Hall, Helsinki, the venue for the Helsinki
Accords conference

Reception and impact[edit] 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, Spain, Ireland and other states, the Final Act simply stated that "frontiers" in Europe should be stable but could change by peaceful internal means.[9]:65 US president Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
also reaffirmed that US non-recognition policy of the Baltic states' (Lithuania, Latvia
and Estonia) forced incorporation into the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
had not changed.[10] Leaders of other NATO
member states made similar statements.[9]:65 However, the civil rights portion of the agreement provided the basis for the work of the Moscow Helsinki
Group, an independent non-governmental organization created to monitor compliance to the Helsinki
Accords (which evolved into several regional committees, eventually forming the International 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, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland, and Romania. Soviet propaganda presented the Final Act as a great triumph for Soviet diplomacy and for Brezhnev personally.[9]: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'... '[Instead, the Helsinki
Accords] 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." 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
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."[11] The 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[edit]

 Austria  Belgium Bulgaria  Canada  Cyprus Czechoslovakia  Denmark  East Germany  Finland  France  Greece  Holy See Hungary  Iceland  Ireland  Italy  Liechtenstein  Luxembourg  Malta  Monaco  Netherlands  Norway Poland  Portugal Romania  San Marino  Soviet Union Spain  Sweden   Switzerland  Turkey  United Kingdom  United States  West Germany  Yugoslavia

Heads of states, heads of governments[edit]

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

International organizations[edit]

Kurt Waldheim, Secretary-General of the United Nations


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


^ Encyclopædia Britannica. 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.  p. 5.   [scan] ^ President's Inquiry on CSCE / Baltic States (Case File) ^ Request by Senators for a Delay of the Final Stage of Helsinki
Final Act (Case File) ^ a b Memorandum for Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
from A. Denis Clift, Re: Replies to Correspondence Critical of CSCE ^ Ford, Gerald (July 25, 1974). " Statement". President Ford–Eastern Europe Advocates memcon (July 25, 1965). Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library. Wikisource.  pp. 6–22.   [scan] ^ President Ford's Visit to Helsinki, July 29 - August 2, 1975, CSCE Briefing Book ^ Memorandum for Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
from A. Denis Clift, Subject: Monitoring Implementation of the CSCE Final Act ^ 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[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Helsinki

has original text related to this article: Helsinki
Final Act

Full text of the Final Act, 1975 Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe United States
United States
Commission Signing of the Final Act on August 1st 1975[permanent dead link] OSCE Magazine October 2005: Special
anniversary issue: 30 years of the Helsinki
Final Act, 1975-2005 The Helsinki
process and the death of communism Interview with Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
discusses Helsinki
Accords during Soviet Repression in Poland
from the Dean Peter Krogh Foreign Affairs Digital Archives The Helsinki
Final Act: Resources for Understanding its Creation, Implementation and Legacy

v t e

Politics of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union

Events (1964–1982)

Collective leadership Glassboro Summit Conference Six Day War Prague Spring Invasion of Czechoslovakia 1968 Red Square demonstration Brezhnev Doctrine Brezhnev assassination attempt Sino-Soviet border conflict Détente 1973 oil crisis Fall of Saigon Vladivostok Summit Helsinki
Accords 1977 Moscow bombings 1977 Soviet Constitution 1978 Georgian demonstrations Cambodian–Vietnamese War Soviet–Afghan War 1980 Summer Olympics Reaction to 1980–1981 Polish crisis Exercise Zapad Death and state funeral of Leonid Brezhnev Legacy of Leonid Brezhnev

Events (1982–1985)

RYAN Korean Air Lines Flight 007 1983 false nuclear alarm incident Able Archer 83 1984 Summer Olympics boycott Friendship Games

Politburo members

22nd 23rd 24th 25th 26th

Aliyev Andropov Brezhnev Chebrikov Chernenko Demichev Dolgikh Efremov Gorbachev Grechko Grishin Gromyko Kirilenko Kiselyov Kunayev Kosygin Kulakov Kuznetsov Masherov Mazurov Mikoyan Mzhavanadze Pelše Podgorny Polyansky Ponomarev Rashidov Romanov Shcherbytsky Shelepin Shelest Shevardnadze Shvernik Solomentsev Suslov Tikhonov Ustinov Voronov Vorotnikov


The Troika (Brezhnev Kosygin Podgorny) Yuri Andropov Konstantin Chernenko


Kosygin's 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Tikhonov's 1st 2nd

National economy


OGAS 1965 1973 1979 Food Programme 1984

Five-year plans

8th plan 9th plan 10th plan 11th plan

Brezhnev's family

Churbanov (son-in-law) Galina (daughter) Lyubov (niece) Viktoria (wife) Yakov (brother) Yuri (son)

Soviet Union
Soviet Union

v t e

Gerald R. Ford

38th President of the United States
United States
(1974–1977) 40th Vice President of the United States
United States
(1973–1974) U.S. Representative for MI-5 (1949–1973)

Presidency (timeline)

Inauguration Federal-Aid Highway Amendments of 1974 Education for All Handicapped Children Act Vladivostok Summit Meeting on Arms Control Helsinki
Accords National Security Study Memorandum 200 Nixon pardon Whip inflation now Wilson desk Assassination attempts (Sacramento San Francisco) State of the Union Addresses (1975 1976) Cabinet Federal judiciary appointments

Supreme Court candidates controversies


Early life Gerald R. Ford Birthsite and Gardens President Gerald R. Ford Jr. Boyhood Home Gerald R. Ford Jr. House Warren Commission AEI World Forum Death and state funeral Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library


United States
United States
House of Representatives elections, 1948 1950 1952 1954 1956 1958 1960 1962 1964 1966 1968 1970 1972 Republican Party presidential primaries, 1976 1980 Republican National Convention, 1976 1980 United States
United States
presidential election, 1976


Gerald R. Ford International Airport Gerald R. Ford Award Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy Ford House Office Building USS Gerald R. Ford
USS Gerald R. Ford
(CVN-78) Gerald R. Ford Freeway U.S. Postage stamps


Betty Ford
Betty Ford
(wife) Michael Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
(son) John Gardner Ford
John Gardner Ford
(son) Steven Meigs Ford (son) Susan Ford
Susan Ford
Bales (daughter) Dorothy Gardner Ford (mother) Leslie Lynch King Sr.
Leslie Lynch King Sr.
(father) Gerald Rudolff Ford
Gerald Rudolff Ford
(stepfather) Thomas Gardner Ford (half-brother) Charles Henry King (grandfather) Liberty (family dog)

← Richard Nixon Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter


Authority control