January 26, 1987
The followup meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) resumes its important work tomorrow in Vienna. It is charged with taking stock of developments in the "Helsinki process'' and with charting the path ahead. The United States has worked energetically and in concert with our NATO allies to support full implementation of the Helsinki Final Act. All CSCE states must fulfill their commitments if we are to realize the promise of a more secure peace with respect for human rights and with greater cooperation among all the peoples of Europe and North America.
Progress has been achieved in some areas, but the human rights situation within the Soviet Union and other nations of Eastern Europe remains tragic. The resolution of some prominent individual cases is welcome, and we hope it will continue. However, sporadic gestures must be expanded into universal practice. Our attention must not be diverted from the severe abuses of human rights that persist. During the last round of the Vienna meeting, the United States and other allied delegations documented in detail failures by the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies to keep their Helsinki promises, particularly on human rights.
Looking ahead, the United States continues to believe that the credibility of the CSCE process depends on fulfillment of commitments already undertaken. We seek signs that the East is prepared to take actions -- and not just offer words -- to solve such problems as the treatment of Helsinki monitors and other political prisoners, divided families and spouses, persecution of religious believers, denial of the right of emigration, and radio jamming. Significant progress on these issues would establish the basis for a constructive and balanced outcome at Vienna. Such an outcome would not only give renewed impetus to the Helsinki process but also mark a welcomed step forward in overall East-West relations. I have instructed Ambassador Warren Zimmermann, Chairman of the United States delegation, to work toward these important goals.