Helsinki Accords

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Helsinki Accords

A 1975 international agreement that dramatically reduced tensions between the United States and allies and Soviet bloc nations. The Accords effectively recognized Soviet hegemony in Eastern Europe in exchange for assurances that the Soviet Union would improve its human rights record. Canada, the United States and all European countries except Andorra and Albania signed the Helsinki Accords. It was seen as a first step toward improved Soviet-Western relations.
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The Helsinki Accords, which have been credited for the rise of meaningful human rights concessions under Gorbachev and thus aiding the eventual fall of the Iron Curtain, were effective because of the intersection between politics and law.
In the recent case of In re Pitcherskaia, the court denied asylum to a Russian lesbian refugee facing persecution in the form of "medical" interventions--institutionalization, electroshock treatment, and mind-altering drugs.(37) It is a productive exercise to consider whether the initial outcome of In re Pitcherskaia would have been different if this Note's approach had been taken, and we will therefore revisit this question at several points in the Note.(38) The following two parts take up two international human rights instruments, the Nuremberg Code and the Helsinki Accord, respectively, and apply their standards to cases of involuntary "medical" intervention.
The most notorious action was the conviction of the noted playwright and human rights activist Vaclav Havel in February, just after Czechoslovakia had initiated the Vienna Concluding Agreement, refining and expanding the 1975 Helsinki Accords on basic human rights.
Human-rights movements emerged in Soviet bloc countries, particularly after the Helsinki Accords were signed in 1975; Amnesty International won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977; and investigative journalism helped to push human rights up the global agenda.
This is how it happened: "In its early days, emerging from the human rights clauses in the 1975 Helsinki Accords, it was the receptacle of the world's innocent but urgent goal of basic rights for all.
In 1975, 35 nations met there in an attempt to improve relations between the Communists and the West, signing The Helsinki Accords.
I know that they abandoned any claims on Cyprus and later on with the Helsinki accords of 1975 the European borders became solid and undisputed.
This new structure would be based on the 1975 Helsinki Accords, a 10-point non-binding agreement aimed at reducing Cold War tensions between the Soviet bloc and the West.
The ambassador's residence in Helsinki, Finland, was selected for its architecture and its role as a site for negotiations on the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT), the Helsinki Accords and the first Gulf Crisis.
Today, May 12, marks the 40th anniversary of the Moscow Helsinki Group, a human rights organization created to monitor the Soviet Union's compliance with the Helsinki Accords. In marking this milestone we can do no better than to remind ourselves and the world of the group's ongoing relevance to those fighting for human rights today.
Dealing with other international issues, the statement called for endorsement of the Helsinki Accords and the principles of the first Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, held in Helsinki, Finland, in 1975.
It was Congress that set up its own Helsinki Commission to monitor Soviet compliance with its pledges made as part of the Helsinki accords, which recognized postwar Eastern European boundaries in exchange for Soviet acceptance of human rights standards.
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