Proclamation: Helsinki Human Rights Day, 2000 (8/1/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                             (Miami, Florida)

For Immediate Release                        August 1, 2000

                      HELSINKI HUMAN RIGHTS DAY, 2000

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                              A PROCLAMATION

     Twenty-five years ago today, in a world marked by brutal divisions and
ideological conflict, the United States joined 33 European nations and
Canada in signing the Helsinki Final Act.  That watershed event established
the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and affirmed an
international com-mitment to respect "freedom of thought, conscience,
religion or belief, for all without distinction as to race, sex, language,
or religion."

     During the Cold War, the Helsinki Principles were the rallying point
for courageous men and women who confronted tyranny -- often at great
personal risk -- to win the fundamental freedoms set forth by the Final
Act.  Today, citizens of our vast Euro-Atlantic community from Vancouver to
Vladivostok live by, or aspire to live, by those fundamental freedoms.  The
Helsinki Final Act has been instrumental in the progress we have made
together toward building a Europe that is whole and free; a Europe where
our partnership for peace is overcoming the possibility of war.  The
Helsinki Final Act continues to shape our vision for the future of
transatlantic cooperation, and the Helsinki accords remain the basic
definition of common goals and standards for how all countries in the new
Europe should treat their citizens and one another.

     The evolution of the CSCE into the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) reflects the changing face of Europe.  The
OSCE's integrated structure of commitments in the areas of human rights,
economics, arms control, and conflict resolution provides a defining
framework for a free and undivided Europe.  The United States will continue
to promote the OSCE's efforts to build security within and cooperation
among democratic societies; to defuse conflicts; to battle corruption and
organized crime; and to champion human rights, fundamental
freedoms, and the rule of law throughout the Euro-Atlantic community.  We
remain committed to the OSCE's essential work of bringing peace and civil
society back to Bosnia and Kosovo, and we are grateful to the many
dedicated men and women engaged in the OSCE's field missions, who in many
ways are our front line of conflict prevention in Europe.

     Today, as we mark the 25th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act, the
United States takes pride in remembering our role as one of its original
signatories -- a ringing call for freedom and human dignity that played a
decisive role in lifting the Iron Curtain and ending the tragic division of

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States
of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim August 1, 2000, as Helsinki
Human Rights Day and reaffirm our Nation's support for the full
implementation of

the Helsinki Final Act.  I urge the American people to observe this
anniversary with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that
reflect our dedication to the noble principles of human rights and
democracy.  I also call upon the governments and peoples of all other
signatory states to renew their commit-ment to comply with the principles
established and consecrated in the Helsinki Final Act.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of
August, in the year of our Lord two thousand, and of the Independence of
the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-fifth.

                              WILLIAM J. CLINTON

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