Welcome Remarks at the U.S. Tri-Mission Independence Day Celebration

USOSCE Chargé d’Affaires, Harry Kamian, welcomes guests at the U.S. Tri-Mission Independence Day Celebration on June 26, 2018.

Welcome Remarks at the U.S. Tri-Mission Independence Day Celebration

As delivered by USOSCE Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Harry Kamian
Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 17:00, Bilateral Embassy CMR

Good evening, and thank you for joining us today to celebrate the United States’ 242nd birthday.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the volunteers for this celebration and our musical entertainment:  the Yale University acapella group “Whim’n Rhythm” and the USAFE Band.

When it declared its independence in 1776, the United States made a lifelong bet for democracy and the fundamental freedoms of its people.  Independence did not come easy, but those rights and freedoms became the foundation of our new country.  Our society and our values have been challenged many times since, but we remain committed to these ideals.

The United States has no monopoly on these aspirations.  Forty-three years ago, our CSCE forefathers assembled in Helsinki.  The Final Act they delivered resembles our own Founding Fathers’ Bill of Rights in the correctness of its aims:  sovereign equality; territorial integrity and the inviolability of frontiers; peaceful settlement of disputes; and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.  These are the ideals we continue to pursue at the OSCE today, and we all must remain vigilant to ensure the spirit of Helsinki ensures.

So today, as we celebrate the success of the radical democratic ideals that set the United States on a course to independence and global prosperity, I also propose we toast the OSCE as a vehicle for peace and security across the region.

To the United States, to the OSCE, to our Austrian hosts, and to our valued guests, “cheers.”  Thank you.