After 35 years, the Helsinki Final Act is still relevant

The Helsinki Final Act remains as relevant today as it was when it was signed 35 years ago, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister and Secretary of State Kanat Saudabayev, said today ahead of the 1 August anniversary.

"For the 35 years of its existence, the Helsinki Final Act has not lost its relevance and topicality. The innovative and comprehensive concept of security that was established by the leaders of 35 states in Helsinki remains today an important factor of security and co-operation in the OSCE area of responsibility," he said.

"At the same time, truly tectonic changes in the world that have taken place, particularly in recent years, require the OSCE participating States, and first and foremost their leaders, to search for adequate responses to these new challenges and threats. This is why the timeliness of an OSCE summit in Astana this year is difficult to overestimate. Our aim is to move from the concept of a 'space of security from Vancouver to Vladivostok' to the creation of a single Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian community of security."

Saudabayev added: "We believe that a result of the summit will be a new 'Spirit of Astana' that will naturally and logically stem from the new geopolitical realities and the Helsinki Final Act. This will represent a commendable way to mark the anniversary of the Organization and will encourage new achievements in the 21st century."

The Helsinki Final Act, signed by presidents and prime ministers from 35 countries on 1 August 1975, was seen as a major step in reducing Cold War tensions and led to the formation of a permanent forum for dialogue on security - the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, now the OSCE.

The Act established a uniquely comprehensive definition of security - encompassing the politico-military, the economic-environmental and the human dimensions - and along with the commitments subsequently agreed by the participating States continues to guide the OSCE's work.

A Summit bringing together the leaders of the 56 States which make up the OSCE today is planned to take place in Astana before the end of the year.

Public Radio of Armenia