[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 124, 111th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

 
PROCLAMATION 8541--JULY 16, 2010

Proclamation 8541 of July 16, 2010
Captive Nations Week, 2010
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

In 1959, President Eisenhower issued the first Captive Nations
Proclamation in solidarity with those living without personal or
political autonomy behind the Iron Curtain. Since that time, once-
captive nations have broken free to establish civil liberties, open
markets, and allow their people access to information. However, even as
more nations have embraced self-governance and basic human rights, there
remain regimes that use violence, threats, and isolation to suppress the
aspirations of their people.

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The Cold War is over, but its history holds lessons for us today. In the
face of cynicism and stifled opportunity, the world saw daring
individuals who held fast to the idea that the world can change and
walls could come down. Their courageous struggles and ultimate success--
and the enduring conviction of all who keep the light of freedom alive--
remind us that human destiny will be what we make of it.
The journey towards worldwide freedom and democracy sought in 1959
remains unfinished. Today, we still observe the profound differences
between governments that reflect the will of their people, and those
that sustain power by force; between nations striving for equal justice
and rule of law, and those that deny their citizens freedom of religion,
expression, and peaceful assembly; and between states that are open and
accountable, and those that restrict the flow of ideas and information.
The United States has a special responsibility to bear witness to those
whose voices are silenced, and to stand alongside those who yearn to
exercise their universal human rights.
In partnership with like-minded governments, we must reinforce
multilateral institutions and international partnerships that safeguard
human rights and democratic values. We must empower embattled civil
societies and help their people connect with one another and the global
community through new technologies. And, with faith in the future, we
must always stand with the courageous advocates, organizations, and
ordinary citizens around the world who fearlessly fight for limitless
opportunity and unfettered freedom.
The Congress, by Joint Resolution, approved July 17, 1959 (73 Stat.
212), has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation
designating the third week of July of each year as ``Captive Nations
Week.''
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of
America, do hereby proclaim July 18 through July 24, 2010, as Captive
Nations Week. I call upon the people of the United States to reaffirm
our deep commitment to all those working for human rights and dignity
around the globe.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of
July, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence
of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.
BARACK OBAMA