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Proclamation 6584—Helsinki Human Rights Day, 1993

August 01, 1993

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Since its inception in the 1970's, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) has been the premier forum in which the ongoing struggle for human rights and the dignity and worth of individuals in European nations has been waged. In the wake of the instability created by the outbreak of war in the former Yugoslavia, the CSCE states have embraced a strategy of preventive diplomacy as a way of resolving differences before they lead to conflict. The CSCE's approach of combining a strong emphasis on human rights, preventive diplomacy, and multilateral action is an example of the kind of foreign policy I seek to pursue.

Yet, the dire situation in the former Yugoslavia gives pause to those who want to believe that the CSCE's principles will be respected in nations emerging from totalitarian rule. We must work with these nations in order to guide them toward the principles we hold dear.

The CSCE has made a major contribution even in areas of instability and conflict. Through conflict-prevention missions, monitoring of sanctions, sponsorship of the Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations, activities of the High Commissioner on National Minorities, and the energetic program of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, participating states have demonstrated their collective political commitment to transform CSCE principles into reality.

As we grapple with the great challenges the CSCE faces, we reaffirm our belief that security cannot be divorced from respect for human rights and the democratic process. We also reaffirm our commitment to the advancement of the rights of individuals, for it was individuals who stood in front of tanks and tore down the walls that split East from West. Individuals braved the wrath of repressive regimes in order to call on them to live up to their CSCE commitments. And individuals today continue to struggle to build democratic societies at peace with their neighbors. The groundbreaking work of the CSCE in establishing human rights and other standards to which all CSCE states have committed themselves has permanently strengthened European security.

In recognition of the contributions of the CSCE toward the expansion of human rights, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 111, has designated August 1, 1993, as "Helsinki Human Rights Day" and has requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this day.

Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim August 1, 1993, as Helsinki Human Rights Day and reaffirm the American commitment to upholding human dignity and freedom--principles that are enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act. As we Americans observe this day with appropriate programs and activities, let us remember our courageous citizens who have made sacrifices to secure the freedoms that we enjoy. Let us work together to encourage respect for human rights and democratic values in all CSCE states.

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

Signature of William J. Clinton


William J. Clinton, Proclamation 6584—Helsinki Human Rights Day, 1993 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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