Secretary of State James Baker called Wednesday for strengthening the 35-nation Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, which include the superpowers along with East and West bloc nations.
Baker made his proposal on the second day of the Conference on the Human Dimension, part of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe provided for under the 1975 Helsinki Final Act.The Helsinki process has gained new importance as a forum for dealing with the swiftly changing situation in Europe, including the pending unification of Germany. Western nations have called for strengthening the process to monitor the democracy process in Eastern Europe.
"The United States favors regular consultations among signatory states," Baker said in his speech, proposing that ministers should meet annually and their senior officials twice per year. "We (also) support the holding of CSCE review conferences on a more frequent basis."
Supporting Denmark's calls for a summit to be held this year, Baker said in a six-point plan the work of member nations before and during such a meeting should be to address the subject of institutionalizing the 35-nation forum.
Baker said he envisaged a major role for the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe in dispute management and in the fostering of "military openness and transparency."
He said the body should develop its role as a monitor of unusual military activities "or other occurrences which have security implications."
Baker called for adoption of the principle of free and fair elections, political pluralism and the rule of law.
"We seek confirmation of the Bonn principles of Economic Cooperation (that) make clear our mutual commitment to the supportive relationship between political and economic liberty," Baker said.
"Specifically, 35 nations will endeavor to achieve or maintain the free flow of trade and capital, market economies with prices based on supply and demand and protection for all property including private property and intellectual property," he said.
Denmark's foreign minister, Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, called Tuesday for the setting up of a permanent secretariat for the forum as a European version of the United Nations.