By the President of the United States of America
This year marks the 38th commemoration of Captive Nations Week—a national expression of solidarity and support for all those around the globe who suffer the harshness of oppressive rule. Democracy and human rights have made great advances in recent years, thanks to the courageous efforts of determined men and women. Yet, despite these strides, far too many people throughout the world live without the benefits of freedom. As this century draws to a close, we must remember the millions who still live in fear and the countless children denied the prospect of a bright future by authoritarian regimes.
The United States' commitment to liberty has ensured over 200 years of justice and individual rights for our citizens. We have worked hard to realize our founders' vision of independence, and we cherish our proud history of offering support and encouragement to others who share that dream. In this post-Cold War era, when ethnic, racial, and religious conflicts pose new challenges to the global community, we must honor that legacy and continue to build a future of international stability and peace.
This week and throughout the year, let us rededicate ourselves to the promotion of liberty and universal human rights for those who suffer under the yoke of tyranny in other lands. The United States will continue to champion political freedom for all races, religions, creeds, and nationalities, pledging to keep faith with people everywhere who cherish the fundamental values that Americans have always held dear.
The Congress, by Joint Resolution approved July 17, 1959 (73 Stat. 212), has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation designating the third week in July of each year as "Captive Nations Week."
Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim July 21 through July 27, 1996, as Captive Nations Week. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities celebrating the principles on which this Nation was established and by which it will forever prosper.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-first.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON