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Toronto Economic Summit Conference Political Declaration

June 20, 1988


1. We the leaders of our seven countries, and the representatives of the European Community, uphold common principles of freedom, respect for individual rights, and the desire of all men to live in peace under the rule of law. Our peoples stand in solidarity within the framework of our existing alliances for the cause of freedom, to safeguard democracy and the prosperity which it has produced. In our discussions we considered how these goals and values could be pursued in the field of foreign affairs, particularly with regard to East-West relations.

2. We discussed a wide range of regional questions and these discussions are continuing throughout the Summit.

3. We confirmed our belief in constructive and realistic dialogue and cooperation, including arms control, human rights and regional issues, as the way to build stability between East and West and enhance security at lower levels of arms. We also reaffirmed that for the foreseeable future nuclear deterrence and adequate conventional strength are the guarantees of peace in freedom.

4. In several important respects changes have taken place in relations between Western countries and the Soviet Union since we last met. For our part this evolution has come about because the industrialized democracies have been strong and united. In the Soviet Union greater freedom and openness will offer opportunities to reduce mistrust and build confidence. Each of us will respond positively to any such developments.

5. We welcome the beginning of the Soviet withdrawal of its occupation troops from Afghanistan. It must be total and apply to the entire country. The Afghan people must be able to choose their government freely. Each of us confirms our willingness to make our full contribution to the efforts of the international community to ensure the return of the refugees to their homeland, their resettlement, and the reconstruction of their country. We now look to the Soviet Union to make a constructive contribution to resolving other regional conflicts as well.

6. Since our last meeting, progress has been made between the United States and the Soviet Union in agreeing to reduce nuclear weapons in a manner which accords fully with the security interests of each of our countries. The INF Treaty, the direct result of Western firmness and unity, is the first treaty ever actually to reduce nuclear arms. It sets vitally important precedents for future arms control agreements: asymmetrical reductions and intrusive verification arrangements. We now look for deep cuts in U.S. and Soviet strategic offensive arms. We congratulate President Reagan on what he has already accomplished, along with General Secretary Gorbachev, toward this goal.

7. Nonetheless, the massive presence of Soviet conventional forces in Eastern Europe, the ensuing conventional superiority of the Warsaw Pact, and its capacity to launch surprise attacks and large scale offensive operations, lie at the core of the security problem in Europe. The Soviet military buildup in the Far East is equally a major source of instability in Asia. These threats must be reduced. Our goal is enhanced security and stability at lower levels of forces, after having eliminated the present imbalances. We seek the early establishment of a comprehensive, effectively verifiable and truly global ban on chemical weapons.

8. Genuine peace cannot be established solely by arms control. It must be firmly based on respect for fundamental human rights. We urge the Soviet Union to move forward in ensuring human dignity and freedoms and to implement fully and strengthen substantially its commitments under the Helsinki process. Recent progress must be enshrined in law and practice, the painful barriers that divide people must come down, and the obstacles to emigration must be removed.

9. We pay special attention to the countries in Eastern Europe. We encourage them to open up their economies and societies, and to improve respect for human rights. In this context we support the continuation and strengthening of the Helsinki process.

10. We take positive note of Eastern countries' growing interest in ending their economic isolation, for example in the establishment and development of relations with the European Community. East-West economic relations can be expanded and serve our common interests so long as the commercial basis is sound, they are conducted within the framework of the basic principles and the rules of the international trade and payments system, and are consistent with the security interests of each of our countries.


11. We strongly reaffirm our condemnation of terrorism in all its forms, including the taking of hostages. We renew our commitment to policies and measures agreed at previous Summits, in particular those against state-sponsored terrorism.

12. We strongly condemn recent threats to air security, in particular the destruction of a Korean airliner and the hijacking of a Kuwaiti airliner. We recall the principle affirmed in previous declarations that terrorists must not go unpunished. We appeal to all countries who are not party to the international conventions on civil aviation security, in particular the Hague Convention, to accede to those conventions.

13. We express support for work currently under way in the International Civil Aviation Organization aimed at strengthening international protection against hijacking. We welcome the most recent declaration adopted by the ICAO Council which endorses the principle that hijacked aircraft should not be allowed to take off once they have landed, except in circumstances as specified in the ICAO declaration.

14. We welcome the adoption this year in Montreal and Rome of two international agreements on aviation and maritime security to enhance the safety of travellers.

15. We reaffirm our determination to continue the fight against terrorism through the application of rule of law, the policy of no concessions to terrorists and their sponsors, and international cooperation.


16. The illegal use of drugs and the illicit trafficking in them poses grave risks to the peoples of Summit countries as well as the peoples of source and transit countries. There is an urgent need for improved international cooperation in all appropriate ford on programs to counter all facets of the illicit drug problem, in particular production, trafficking, and financing of the drug trade. The complexity of the problem requires additional international cooperation, in particular to trace, freeze and confiscate the proceeds of drug traffickers, and to curb money laundering.

17. We look forward to the successful negotiation in Vienna in November of a United Nations Convention on illicit trafficking.

18. We supported the initiative of the Government of the United States for a special task force to be convened to propose methods of improving cooperation in all areas including national, bilateral and multilateral efforts in the fight against narcotics.

Note: The declaration was not issued as a White House press release.

Ronald Reagan, Toronto Economic Summit Conference Political Declaration Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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