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Proclamation 5515—Helsinki Human Rights Day, 1986

August 01, 1986

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

August 1, 1986, marks the eleventh anniversary of the signing of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, known as the Helsinki Accords. Later this year, representatives from the signatory states will be meeting in Vienna to review implementation of these Accords, including the human rights and humanitarian provisions.

Human rights and fundamental freedoms lie at the heart of the commitments made in the Helsinki Accords of 1975 and in the follow-on Madrid Concluding Document of 1983. These documents set forth clearly a code of conduct, not only for relations among sovereign states, but also for relations between governments and their citizens. This code holds out a beacon of hope for those people in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union who seek a freer, more just, and more secure life. We and the other Atlantic democracies will not let up in our efforts to see to it that these solemn commitments are fully honored throughout Europe.

We Americans will never waver in our commitment to implement fully the human rights and humanitarian provisions of the Helsinki Accords, not only because these freedoms are fundamental to our way of life but because of our conviction they are the God-given entitlement of every member of the human family. Let us pledge ourselves once again to do all in our power so that all people may enjoy them in peace. We also call on all 35 CSCE signatory governments to uphold these just and fundamental principles.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 371, has designated August 1, 1986, as "Helsinki Human Rights Day" and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation reasserting our commitment to the Helsinki Accords.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim August 1, 1986, as Helsinki Human Rights Day and call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate observances that reflect our continuing dedication to full implementation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms set forth in the Helsinki Accords.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of August, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eleventh.

Signature of Ronald Reagan


Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5515—Helsinki Human Rights Day, 1986 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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