On 1 August, 45 years ago, the Helsinki Final Act was signed. The Act facilitated the transition from confrontation to co-operation and paved the way for the creation of the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), envisaged under the Paris Charter and established in 1995.
On the day marking the 45th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Prime Minister and Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania, Edi Rama, stated that the further strengthening of the OSCE and its comprehensive approach to security is inextricably linked to full respect for and implementation of the fundamental principles and commitments enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act
The Chairperson-in-Office paid tribute to the Helsinki Final Act noting it was “instrumental in advancing human security over more than four decades in the OSCE area”.
The Helsinki Process made a critical contribution to reducing tensions and to creating the conditions that led to the end of the Cold War, he said. It facilitated the transition from confrontation to co-operation and paved the way for the creation of the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe, envisaged under the Paris Charter and established in 1995.
Rama stressed that the right way to commemorate the Helsinki Final Act is to make an urgent effort toward realizing its vision of respectful inter-state relations and adherence to commitments.
“As Europe is scarred by conflicts, the work of our Organization, as well as the goodwill of all of its participating States, is needed even more. To be meaningful and relevant, peace and democracy must not be simply our common words and horizon, but our common objectives. The Helsinki Decalogue with its ten principles, including its respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights, are as relevant today as they were back then, 45 years ago,” stated Rama.
Helsinki Final Act is a major diplomatic agreement signed in Helsinki, Finland, at the conclusion of the first Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (now called the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe). The Helsinki Accords were primarily an effort to reduce tension between the Soviet and Western blocs by securing their common acceptance of the post-World War II status quo in Europe. The accords were signed by all the countries of Europe (except Albania, which became a signatory in September 1991) and by the United States and Canada.