Human rights within states are crucial to security among states. Prioritizing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, defending the principles of liberty, and encouraging tolerance within societies must be at the forefront of America's foreign policy agenda. Peace, security, and prosperity cannot be sustained if national governments repress their citizens, stifle their media, or imprison members of the political opposition. Authoritarian regimes become increasingly unstable as citizens chafe under the bonds of persecution and violence, and pose a danger not only to their citizens, but also to neighboring nations. The Helsinki Commission strives to ensure that the protection of human rights and defense of democratic values are central to U.S. foreign policy; that they are applied consistently in U.S. relations with other countries; that violations of Helsinki provisions are given full consideration in U.S. policymaking; and that the United States holds those who repress their citizens accountable for their actions. This includes battling corruption; protecting the fundamental freedoms of all people, especially those who historically have been persecuted and marginalized; promoting the sustainable management of resources; and balancing national security interests with respect for human rights to achieve long-term positive outcomes rather than short-term gains.
Greece is one of the original signatories of the 1975 Helsinki Final Act establishing the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, which was renamed the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 1995. Greece held the Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2009. Between 2010 and 2012, Greek MP Petros Efthymiou served as President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
Greece has been a member of the European Union since 1981 and the Council of Europe since 1949 and has been a NATO ally of the United States since 1952.
Staff Contact: Bakhti Nishanov, senior policy advisor