The Helms Principles of Foreign Policy

Shortly after Senator Helms left office, a void was created in the foreign policy debate. Therefore, in 2005 the Jesse Helms Center launched a foreign policy program entitled The Helms Principles.The programs include a grassroots foreign policy communications school, commentary on foreign policy issues, and various lectures and seminars.

The Helms Principles are comprised of three major components:

1. Protect Our National Sovereignty

Our founders understood from the first days of our nationhood that no one can speak for America, but America. We can never be a party to any organization or agreement that removes from this nation the absolute authority to make our own decisions. While it is appropriate to seek cooperation among nations with compatible goals, it is never in our national interest to be a party to agreements that would give any other entity authority over our troops, our trade, our tariffs, our citizens or our policies.

2. Promote a Strong National Defense

The pages of political history stretching to antiquity illustrate the truth that there is no virtue in ignoring the danger created by insufficient defenses. Nations who have lowered their defenses, with the best of intentions, inevitably found themselves vulnerable to attack by nations with the worst of intentions. Our nation must be firm in its resolve to never have its autonomy or freedom threatened by any enemy. Our military must have the personnel and materials required for any contingency and our people must prize both freedom and the responsibility for insuring it.

3. Pursue a Moral Foreign Policy

The pursuit of a higher good has always been a part of the American ideal. We are a nation of immigrants, seekers of freedom who have made it our business to welcome the newcomer. As a nation of idealists, we believe that every human hungers for the freedom we take as our American birthright. Also, We are a nation of brave men and women who know that words of comfort without action are hollow and useless. And finally, we are people who cannot ignore the plight of the abused or the threats of tyrants. Therefore, United States of America must always measure its foreign policy against the faith guided tenets of our heritage, not against the vagaries of current opinion or selfish self-interest.

To learn more about the Helms Foreign Policy School, click here.


UN Transparency ProjectSenator Jesse Helms addresses U.N. Security Council

Senator Jesse Helms was a constant voice for freedom during his 30 years in the United States Senate. He frequently blocked treaties that he believed undermined our nation’s sovereignty.

As chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1994 to 2000, Senator Helms not only protected our nation’s freedom but also worked to restore our foreign policy that put America’s interests first and not the interest of the United Nations. This project is new to the Helms Center and our goal is to help educate hundreds of thousands of Americans throughout this country on current events at the United Nations.


To learn more about the UN Transparency Project, visit