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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 18, 1972


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    An update on the progress of the pre-CSCE agenda negotiations
    "About Some Current Questions Concerning the Multilateral Preparations for the European Security Conference," October 18, 1972, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PA AA: MfAA C 372/78
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Status: 18 October 1972[1] [2]

About some current questions concerning the multilateral preparations for the European Security Conference
(Source: Grundsatzabteilung)[3]

On the state of the discussion about the agenda

The discussion about the agenda of the security conference is still about the 3 items that were proposed by the Warsaw Treaty states in their Prague Declaration.[4] The Prague Declaration's basic principles have also become the main point of departure for opinion-forming. This found its expression in US Secretary of State Rogers, Swedish Prime Minister Palme, and Chancellor Brandt arguing in favour of an agreement about basic principles for relations between states with differing social systems.
However, by aiming at ideological subversion they try to give the Warsaw Treaty states' proposals a different content, as well as trying to conclude concrete measures according to their conception of "freer movement of ideas, information and people". One can already realise that, aside from the principles rooted in the UN charter, they are trying to put the principles of the human rights declaration in the centre of discussions.


[1] Copyright: Project 'CSCE and the Transformation of Europe', University of Mannheim and the Cold War International History Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center. All rights reserved. The "CSCE and the Transformation of Europe" Project is funded by the VolkswagenStiftung. If cited, quoted, translated, or reproduced, acknowledgement of any document's origin must be made as follows: "Oliver Bange/Stephan Kieninger (eds): "Negotiating one's own demise? The GDR's Foreign Ministry and the CSCE negotiations - Plans, preparations, tactics and presumptions," CWIHP e-Dossier Nr. 17, on behalf of the Project 'CSCE and the Transformation of Europe', University of Mannheim 2008 (

[2] Excerpts from document, pp. 3-4.

[3] Department for Principal Questions and Planning. Its head, Dr. Siegfried Bock, became the head of the GDR's delegation to Helsinki. Bock is one of the editors of an anthology by contemporary witnesses: Siegfried Bock, Ingrid Muth, Hermann Schwiesau (eds): DDR-Aussenpolitik im Rueckspiegel – Diplomaten im Gespraech, Muenster 2004; Bock's essay about the "GDR in the CSCE process", pp. 102-117, is particularly relevant. The second edition of the anthology was published in 2006. See Bock, Muth, Schwiesau (eds): Alternative deutsche Aussenpolitik? – DDR-Aussenpolitik im Rueckspiegel, Muenster 2006. See Siegfried Bock's contributions to the conference "The Road to Helsinki: The early steps of the CSCE" , organised by the Machiavelli Center for Cold War Studies (CIMA), which took place in Florence on 29-30 September 2003, as well as to the conference "At the Roots of the European Security System: Thirty Years since the Helsinki Final Act", convened in Zurich on 8-10 September 2005 and organised by the Center for Security Studies at the ETH Zurich as partner in the Parallel History Project on NATO and the Warsaw Pact (PHP), in cooperation with the National Security Archive at the George Washington University and the Cold War International History Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, both in Washington, D.C., and the Machiavelli Center for Cold War Studies in Florence. Conversations between Siegfried Bock and the authors 2003, 2005, 2007.

[4] In addition to the items "renunciation of force" and "commercial, economic and scientific-technological cooperation", Brezhnev proposed to expand the agenda of the CSCE by the inclusion of "military détente". See Brezhnev's speech at the XIIIth Meeting of the Warsaw Pact's Political Consultative Committee, 25-26 January 1972 in Prague. SAPMO: DY 30/526, cited from Vojtech Mastny, Christian Nuenlist, Anna Locher (eds): Records of the Warsaw Pact Political Consultative Committee, 1955-1990.