Proclamation 5334 -- Helsinki Human Rights Day, 1985

April 30, 1985

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

May 7, 1985, marks the opening session in Ottawa of the Human Rights Experts Meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. This meeting is mandated to deal with questions concerning the record of all 35 CSCE states in protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, in all their aspects, as embodied in the Final Act. This is the first CSCE meeting that has ever been devoted exclusively to human rights issues. It visibly manifests the success of joint U.S.-West European efforts to utilize CSCE as a major forum for discussions on human rights.

The United States delegation will work tirelessly to achieve meaningful results at this assembly, which discusses an issue of great concern to this Nation.

Human rights and fundamental freedoms lie at the heart of the commitments made in the Helsinki Accords of 1975 and in the Madrid Concluding Document of 1983. These documents set forth a clear code of conduct, not only for relations among sovereign states, but also for relations between states and their citizens. They hold out a beacon of hope for those in the East who seek a freer, more just, and more secure life. We and the other Atlantic democracies will not waver in our efforts to see that these commitments are someday fully honored in all of Europe.

Let us as Americans look once again to our commitment to implement fully the human rights and humanitarian provisions of the Helsinki Accords, because these freedoms are fundamental to our way of life. Let us pledge ourselves once again to do everything in our power so that all men and women may enjoy them in peace. In doing so, we call on all 35 CSCE states to dedicate themselves to upholding these humane principles.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 15, has designated May 7, 1985, 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 May 7, 1985, 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 commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms made in the Helsinki Accords.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:13 p.m., April 30, 1985]