WASHINGTON—In the run up to the first Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe summit in more than a decade, the U.S. Helsinki Commission today unveiled a new web video highlighting the Commission’s work over the past 35 years to encourage compliance with human rights, energy, environmental and security commitments.
Watch the video by clicking here. Run time: 3 min. 44 sec.
“Our longstanding anti-corruption work and important initiatives to shed new light on the finances of the extractive industry sector should serve as a reminder to our global audience that the commitments made at Helsinki are as relevant today as they were in 1975,” said Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission (Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe). “It’s vital that we use new media to communicate with expanding audiences in order to share the Commission’s story of how we are holding countries, including the United States, to account for their commitments.”
From this year’s work creating a new standard for revenue transparency in the energy sector to the decades of action preserving human rights and fundamental freedoms and freeing prisoners from authoritarian regimes, this video provides a concise overview of the goals, function, and accomplishments of the U.S. Helsinki Commission. It tells the Commission’s story—dating back to its creation in 1976—through the voices of current and former Commissioners, some of whom now serve in the cabinet, and former dissidents and diplomats.
“The Commission’s broad use of new media tools, like this video, reemphasizes our mission to defend human rights, ensure democratic progress on elections and good governance and expose anti-Semitism and xenophobia across the 56 countries of the OSCE region,” said Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL).
The video features the following people:
Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, U.S. Helsinki Commission Chairman
Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, U.S. Helsinki Commission Co-Chairman
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, U.S. Helsinki Commissioner
Rep. Chris Smith, U.S. Helsinki Commission Ranking Republican Member
Rep. Louise Slaughter, U.S. Helsinki Commissioner
Secretary Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor
Rep. Steny Hoyer, House Majority Leader, former U.S. Helsinki Commission Chairman
Jeff Hovenier, National Security Council Director for Central and Eastern Europe
Spencer Oliver, Secretary General OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, former U.S. Helsinki Commission Staff Director
Max Kampelman, U.S. Ambassador to OSCE Madrid Conference
Yuri Orlov, Founder of Moscow Helsinki Group
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 56 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.
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Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic (C), who serves as Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE in 2015, meeting with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (L) and Helsinki Commission Chairman Chris Smith (R) immediately after the February 25 hearing on Serbia's leadership of the OSCE. (Feb. 2015)