Why Was Education Cooperation Emphasised in the International Agreements at Helsinki

WASHINGTON – As the Trump administration is set to finalize its withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty on Sunday, Nov. 22, Helsinki Commission Chairman Representative Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20) issued the following statement: “While it appears that the Open Skies Treaty will survive the Trump administration`s withdrawal, the lack of U.S. leadership through this crucial treaty regime is a blow to transatlantic security. I look forward to the Biden administration`s renewed commitment to working closely with our allies to promote transparency and predictability in Europe. I call on the next government to think about how it can join the Open Skies Treaty. The Open Skies Treaty was designed to increase transparency, build trust, and promote cooperation between the United States, Russia, and 32 other participating states (including much of Europe, as well as partners such as Ukraine and Georgia) by allowing unarmed observer aircraft to fly over their entire territory to observe military forces and activities. On May 22, 2020, the United States announced its decision to withdraw from the treaty. In support of the treaty, President Hastings successfully amended the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 (H.R.6395) to reflect Congressional sentiment that the Trump administration`s decision to withdraw from the treaty was not in accordance with a legal obligation to inform Congress; did not claim that another signatory had breached the contract; and was made over the objections of NATO allies and regional partners. The measure also expressed support for confidence- and security-building measures such as the Open Skies Treaty, as they reduce the risk of conflict, build trust between participating countries, contribute to military transparency, and remain crucial to the strategic interests of U.S. NATO allies and partners.

President Hastings had previously condemned the Trump administration`s decision to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty. In November 2019, the Commission held a joint hearing with the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the importance of the Open Skies Treaty, highlighting its crucial role in security and stability in Europe. Helsinki Commission Chairman Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20) and Co-Chair Senator Roger Wicker (MS) today expressed their sorrow at the death of physicist Yuri Orlov, founder of the Moscow Helsinki Group, on 27 September. “Yuri Orlov really stood out among the great human rights activists of the 20th century,” Hastings said. While many questioned the value of the Helsinki Final Act of 1975, he quickly saw its comprehensive definition of security as an opportunity to advance the cause of human rights in the Soviet Union. He founded the Moscow Helsinki Group with other brave people and paid the price for nearly a decade of captivity, hard work and internal exile. During his ordeal, he never questioned his decision and did not give up on his dream. His hope gave us hope and made him a true hero.

“Without Yuri Orlov, we might not have the OSCE as we know it today,” said Co-Chair Wicker. “He understood that the Helsinki Accords were unique in regulating relations between states, as well as between governments and citizens. It has helped encourage millions of ordinary people to defend their rights against repressive regimes. It also helped convince the world that the human rights violations documented by the Moscow Helsinki Group were legitimate and legitimate concerns for all. The international human rights movement owes much to its brilliance and strength. Born in Moscow in 1924, Yuri Orlov was a physicist whose scientific career in the Soviet Union was first limited and then interrupted by his support for human rights and democratic change from the 1950s onwards. In 1973, he became a founding member of the Soviet section of Amnesty International. In May 1976, he founded the Moscow Helsinki Group and helped found similar groups elsewhere in the country. This was the beginning of an international human rights monitoring movement, based on the principles and provisions of the Helsinki Final Act, which continues to this day. In February 1977, Orlov was arrested, imprisoned for a year and, after a brief show trial, sentenced to seven years in a labor camp under strict regime and five years in exile for “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda.” The persecution of its members prompted the Moscow Helsinki Group to cease its work from 1982 to 1989. During his Siberian exile in 1986, Orlov was stripped of his Soviet citizenship and deported as part of an agreement in which American journalist Nicholas Daniloff was exchanged for a Soviet spy.

Upon his arrival in the United States, Orlow immediately resumed his human rights advocacy, and then his scientific work as a senior scientist at Cornell University. He continued his advocacy for human rights in Russia and around the world, and in 2005 he was the first recipient of the Andrei Sakharov Prize awarded by the American Physical Society to honor researchers for their outstanding work in promoting human rights. In “Dangerous Thoughts: Memoirs of a Russian Life,” published in the United States in 1991, Orlov tells the story of his life as a dissident in the Soviet Union. Shortly before President Ford`s departure for Helsinki, he met with a group of Americans of Eastern European descent and finally said that U.S. policy toward the Baltic states would not change, but would be strengthened, as the agreement refuses to annex territories in violation of international law and allows for a peaceful change of borders. [9] Although initially unpopular in the West, the Helsinki Final Act proved important at the end of the Cold War. Some activists rejected the Western concession to the borders, which led to the formal acceptance of the Soviet annexation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and effectively recognized Soviet hegemony in Eastern Europe. Despite these criticisms, the third basket of human rights and freedoms ultimately proved important to dissidents in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. To monitor the USSR`s progress in implementing the human rights provisions of the law, human rights activists set up Helsinki monitoring groups in the Soviet Union and throughout Europe. These groups have prosecuted violations of the law and drawn international attention to human rights violations. In addition, a review process was introduced at the Belgrade follow-up meeting to detect and hold accountable violations of the Helsinki Final Act.

Together, these measures have allowed dissidents to act and speak more openly than would otherwise have been possible. By Emma Derr, Max Kampelman Fellow A novel coronavirus was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. Under the name of COVID-19, the disease quickly spread around the world. .


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