Helsinki Final Act

(1975)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

The Helsinki Final Act was written on the understanding that European and global security could best be achieved by attention to a wide array of interrelated issues. These were conceptualized in three general domains, or “baskets”: political and military (Basket I), economic and environmental (Basket II), and human rights and freedoms (Basket III). All of these topics are treated in the first part of the act, “Questions Relating to Security in Europe,” in subsection 1(a), which is reproduced in full here. Also presented are excerpts from the second part, “Co-operation in the Field of Economics, of Science and Technology and of the Environment”; excerpts from the fourth part, “Co-operation in Humanitarian and Other Fields”; and the short fifth part at the back of the act, “Follow-up to the Conference,” which calls for participants to continue and build upon the work done at Geneva and Helsinki.

“Questions Relating to Security in Europe”

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Henry Kissinger (right), walking with President Gerald Ford (Library of Congress)

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