Helsinki Accords

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The Helsinki Accords were adopted when thirty-five representatives from thirty-five nations met in Helsinki, Finland, in 1975 to discuses the security and cooperation in Europe. The final act of the conference is known as the Helsinki Accords.

The European Convention of Human Rights, implemented in 1953, led later to the 1975 Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. This document guaranteed the postwar borders of European states, the peaceful settlement of disputes, and respect for human rights. It regulated the principles of economic, scientific, and technological cooperation and provided for the exchange of printed, film, and televised information.

The Helsinki Accords were used by human rights activists and the Reagan Administration to pressure the Soviet Union to relax some of its totalitarianism, and to allow the escape of Soviet Jews. Mikhail Gorbachev finally unleashed "glasnost" and "perestroika" that energized human rights activists and led to the collapse of Communism in Europe, 1989–91.