July 15, 1983
After nearly 3 years of negotiation, the 35 states participating in the Madrid review meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe are approaching agreement on a concluding document -- one that will strengthen and extend the undertakings contained in the Helsinki Final Act. It is a call on all 35 CSCE states -- particularly those who have so tragically failed to live up to promises made in Helsinki -- to give life to these commitments and to rededicate themselves to advancing the freedom and justice on which security in Europe ultimately depends.
We have agreed to this concluding document, as we did in 1975 to the Helsinki Final Act itself, with no illusions about the nature of the Soviet Union or about the system which it seeks to impose over much of Europe. In an ideal world, agreements such as this would not be necessary. But we believe it is the best agreement attainable, one which significantly improves on the Helsinki Final Act and advances the efforts of the West to hold out a beacon of hope for those in the East who seek a more free, just, and secure life.
Together with the Helsinki accords, this agreement sets forth a clearer code of conduct for all 35 CSCE states -- a set of standards to which we and the other Atlantic democracies will continue to hold all those who will have pledged their word at Madrid. We will sign it with the hope that it will serve as a step toward achieving our objective of a more stable and constructive relationship with the Soviet Union.
The Madrid accord will add important new commitments to the Helsinki process, including provisions dealing with human rights, the trade union freedoms so tragically violated in Poland, terrorism, religious liberties, reunification of families, free flow of information, and more. It will provide for two important meetings of experts in the humanitarian field and for a security conference which will attempt to negotiate measures reducing the danger of surprise attack in Europe. Another full, followup meeting will take place in Vienna in 1986, where we will review the conduct of the participating states and seek to build on the accomplishments at Madrid.
The unity and resolve of the Western democracies at Madrid have made this achievement possible. Ambassador Kampelman and his NATO colleagues deserve the highest praise for bringing this long and often difficult conference to a successful conclusion. We also owe a special vote of thanks to Prime Minister Gonzalez of Spain, whose thoughtful proposal set the stage for final agreement.
In concluding the Madrid meeting, we reaffirm our commitment to the Helsinki process. We will not flag in our continued determination to work with all governments and peoples whose goal is the strengthening of peace in freedom. As Madrid has shown, dialog, when based on realistic expectations and conducted with patience, can produce results. These results are often gradual and hard-won, but they are the necessary building blocks for a more secure and stable world. The challenge remains. We must all consolidate and build on these gains; we must ensure that good words are transformed into good deeds and that the ideals which they embody are given concrete expression. Giving substance to the promises of Madrid and Helsinki will remain one of our prime objectives.