40 years of the Helsinki Final Act
1 August 2015
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Image PlaceholderAugust 1st marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Helsinki Final Act, a milestone in the history of European security. As we commemorate this event against the backdrop of the crisis in and around Ukraine, it is deeply disturbing that fundamental divisions among participating States have resurfaced.

It is important to look back to where we come from and seize the opportunity to think once again strategically about our common future, which can only be based on mutual trust and co-operation. In light of the complexity of current security challenges, the success of the international community depends even to a greater extent on its ability to craft joint responses. I believe that we should all make an effort to seek inspiration from the past and move forward with renewed determination.

Let's take advantage of this year's commemoration to reflect on our common achievements and current challenges. This latest issue of OSCE LINK should provide some food for thought.
Lamberto Zannier
OSCE Secretary General

OSCE Timeline: The Organization at a glance

The Helsinki Final Act was a landmark document that made a critical contribution to lessening tensions in Europe in the 1970s and creating conditions that led to the end of the Cold War. Today it remains the defining document that guides the work of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Find out how and where the OSCE works, who we are, and learn about the history of the Organization on our new page.

A unique document

Forty years ago in Helsinki, world leaders got together to sign a unique document that would revolutionize the concept of comprehensive security. The Helsinki Final Act was a historic triumph of co-operation over conflict, bridging the gap between East and West and setting the stage for the end of the Cold War. Read the document in: Armenian | English | French | German | Italian | Kazakh | Spanish

OSCE Secretary General reflects: Reviving the Helsinki Spirit

OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier looks at how the ten principles of the Helsinki Final Act, the pillars of this process, have stood the test of time. Read More

Commemoration in Helsinki

A special commemorative event, initiated by Serbia's 2015 OSCE Chairmanship and hosted by Finland, was held on 10 July 2015 in Helsinki’s Finlandia Hall, where the original signing of the Final Act took place. Read More

Ideas for reform

Through the engagement of parliamentarians, diplomats and think-tank experts, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly initiated a seminar series on the OSCE’s Helsinki +40 process. The seminars resulted in a Final Report and Resolution adopted by OSCE parliamentarians containing proposals for reforms needed to keep the Organization relevant and efficient in the years ahead. Learn More

Marking 40 years of the Helsinki Final Act

In the lead- and follow-up to the 40th Anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act, on 1 August 2015, a number of events are being held across the OSCE region. Learn More

#WeCooperate to build security! And you?

Two months, almost 3 million people reached, hundreds of contributions submitted - and an online audience motivated and mobilized to share ideas this anniversary year on how we can work together to achieve peace and security. Read about our campaign.

Daily updates from the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine

To get a better understanding of the situation on the ground in Ukraine, read the daily updates provided for the public and the media by the teams of special monitors.

Reports from the Observer Mission at the Russian Checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk

Read weekly first-hand information from the team of OSCE observers on the situation at the border checkpoints.

Background: OSCE engagement with Ukraine

Learn more about OSCE responses to the crisis in and around Ukraine, ranging from high-level diplomacy and multilateral dialogue, addressing concerns over fundamental freedoms, human rights, through to monitoring, fact-finding and military visits.
OSCE Cafés bring OSCE officials together with people interested in security issues in an informal, social setting. They are a rare chance to sit down and converse face-to-face with the people doing the OSCE’s work. The event series kicked off in Vienna’s traditional Café Korb in July 2014 and is held in different cities in the OSCE region.

For information about dates, venues and registration please contact: oscecafe@osce.org.
Security Community Issue 1/2015 is now available. Six articles from the magazine are now available in the six official OSCE languages: English, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. Read the articles in the Editor's Choice section.
Save The Date

21 September 2015 - 2 October 2015: Human Dimension Implementation Meeting 2015
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