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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 1, 2005

Statement on the 30th Anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act

Today, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act, an agreement of principles by Cold War adversaries which helped lift the Iron Curtain by undermining despotism with the simple ideals of freedom and human rights.

Signed at a time when security was defined by the strength of a nation's arsenal, the Helsinki Final Act was premised on the revolutionary belief that security should also be defined by the ways that countries treat their own citizens and cooperate with their neighbors. In the 15 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Helsinki process and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which grew out of this historic process, have made a vital contribution toward achieving a Europe whole, free, and at peace.

President Bush believes that peace depends upon the expansion of freedom, and during the past 30 years, 54 nations have joined the United States in this fundamental belief as members of the OSCE. Despite tremendous progress, much remains to be done to achieve a democratic, prosperous, and secure Euro-Atlantic community. The men and women who have dedicated themselves to promoting the work of the OSCE are on the front lines confronting tyranny. They labor to create a better, more peaceful world by promoting free and fair elections, strengthening respect for human rights, building democratic institutions, and enhancing security and economic prosperity. They offer hope to those living under repression.

On behalf of all Americans, the President congratulates the OSCE on this anniversary. The United States stands with this organization dedicated to the cause of freedom.

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