History

Helsinki España was established in 1990 under the umbrella of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) also known as the Helsinki Final Act. Signed by 35 countries on 1 August 1975, the Helsinki Final Act is considered the starting point of what is today called Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

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The Helsinki Final Act, which incorporates a number of fundamental politico-military, economic and human rights commitments, became the center of the so-called “Helsinki Process”. In this repect the Act also enumerates ten fundamental principles that guide the relations of the states towards their citizens and between participating states.

The principles listed in the Act are:

  • Sovereign equality, respect for the rights inherent in sovereignty
  • Refraining from the threat or use of force
  • Inviolability of frontiers
  • Territorial integrity of States
  • Peaceful settlement of disputes
  • Non-intervention in internal affairs
  • Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief
  • Equal rights and self-determination of peoples
  • Co-operation among States
  • Fulfilment in good faith of obligations under international law
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Until 1990, the CSCE consisted of a series of meetings and conferences where member states worked on their commitments and periodically reviewed their application. The organization was provided with permanent institutions and operational capabilities at the Paris Summit of November 1990, at the end of the Cold War. After the Summit of Heads of State of Budapest in December 1994, the name of the CSCE became the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, known worldwide by the acronym OSCE.

 

The principles of the Helsinki Final Act devoted to the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms led to the creation, in Moscow, of the NGO called Helsinki Group, whose purpose was to monitor the implementation of the Helsinki Accords. The mission of the Helsinki Group was expanded with the creation of several regional and national committees, including Helsinki España.

Since its establishment in 1990, Helsinki España has been dedicated to disseminating and promoting the principles of the Helsinki Final Act, working on the respect and protection of human rights through education.

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