Ethics & International Affairs Volume 4 (1990): Special Section on Human Rights and Democratic Values: The Helsinki Accord: A Growth Industry [Abstract]

Dec 2, 1990

Despite conservative opposition, in the late 1970s, Jimmy Carter turned the tide in favor of the Helsinki Accord by taking a strong stand in fostering U.S. participation in it. Korey focuses on the U.S. delegation to the Commission on Security and Cooperation (CSCE) in Europe and credits the success of the Helsinki Accord to U.S. adroit negotiation strategies, beginning with the Carter administration. By 1980, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev came to embrace the "humanitarianism" of the treaty. The Vienna review conference's (1986-89) effort peaked when a milestone was reached in the human rights process, linking it directly to security issues equally pertinent to the East and the West. The author contends that the United States' ardent participation in the monitoring of compliance was particularly effective in putting pressure on the Soviet Union to uphold the agreement within its territory, yielding enormous progress in human rights.

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