Leader’s remarks at 60th anniversary of Geneva Agreement
16:49 | 18/07/2014
VGP – State President Truong Tan Sang delivered his remarks at the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Geneva Agreement on cessation of hostilities in Viet Nam.

Distinguished Leaders and Former Leaders of the Party, the State and the Viet Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee

Vietnamese Heroic Mothers and Revolutionary Veterans

Dear foreign guests,

 Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, we gather here to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Geneva Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities in Viet Nam. This marks an important milestone in the long and difficult struggle of our people for national independence, unification, sovereignty and territorial integrity in the 20th century. On behalf of the Party and State’s leaders, I warmly welcome and extend my best wishes to all Leaders, former Leaders of the Party, State and Viet Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee, representatives from Central Agencies, international friends, former officials and soldiers participated in the 1954 Geneva Conference and you all to this very special ceremony.

On this special occasion, we sincerely pay our tribute and express our profound gratitude to President Ho Chi Minh – the genius leader, the hero of national liberation, the world’s culture figure. He devoted all his life to national independence, freedom and the people’s happiness. He also directly guided the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam’s governmental delegation at the 1954 Geneva Conference.

We sincerely pay our tribute to the late Prime Minister Pham Van Dong, the then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Head of the Governmental Delegation of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam at the 1954 Geneva Conference. He was a man of resilience who devoted all his life to this country and our people. He was an excellent diplomat who made significant contribution to the country’s revolution.

We fully recognize and highly appreciate the service of officers and soldiers who were part of the diplomatic struggle at the 1954 Geneva Conference. The tribute is especially extended to members of the governmental delegation of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam - who were directly involved in the tough battle of the brain and contributed to our successes at the Conference. 60 years have passed, many comrades have passed away and many are not in good health to join us in this ceremony. On behalf of the Party and State leaders, I would like to convey my sincerest greetings to all comrades and your families. It is also my pleasure to announce that the Party and state have decided to confer the noble title “Hero of the armed forces” on members of the Governmental Delegation of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam for your enormous and significant contribution at the 1954 Geneva Conference, leading to the end of wars, restoration of peace, promotion of socialism in the North, full liberation of the South and national reconciliation.

Comrades and distinguished guests,

After the 1945 August Revolution, against the threat of internal and external enemies, the newly established revolutionary government fell into a situation described as “a huge stone hanged by a thread”. However, with President Ho Chi Minh’s flexible diplomatic efforts, the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam's Government had made all possible concessions to protect Viet Nam’s fledging independence. At some point, there was hope for peace even though we had gone through a terrifying hunger. The world wars and colonist yoke left behind devastating consequences. However, the French colonist invaded us once again and triggered wars throughout the country. In response to President Ho Chi Minh’s Call for national resistance, Vietnamese people had all risen up under the motto “We’d rather sacrifice everything than losing our country to slavery”. We began the long resistance fight against French colonist. In the light of resistance nationwide and self-reliance, we waged our protracted war with full courage. It was victory of the entire Vietnamese people and army at the battlefield, peaking up the victory of Dien Bien Phu Campaign, the cornerstone leading to the Geneva Conference on Indochina. Inaugurated on 8th May 1954, only one day after the Dien Bien Phu campaign, negotiations at Geneva Conference were intense and tough. It lasted 75 days with 31 sessions. Many bilateral and multilateral exchanges took place on the sideline of the Conference. Finally, the Geneva Agreement on the cessation of hostilities in Viet Nam was signed.

Following Dien Bien Phu victory, the 1954 Geneva Agreement constituted a major victory of great significance to the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam Government. For the first time, the French government and “each country participating in the Geneva Conference committed to respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial unity and integrity…” of Viet Nam and “to make absolutely no interference with Viet Nam’s internal affairs”. The French army was forced to withdraw. North Viet Nam was completely liberated, heading for socialism. The North became the solid stronghold for the South in their struggle for national liberation and unification. The 1954 Geneva Agreement was an important step forward. It reaffirmed the Vietnamese people’s aspiration for peace, independence, sovereignty and territorial unity and integrity. This agreement also had legal significance and created the foundation for our people to continue our struggle and achieve overall victory later on.

Our successes in the Geneva Conference were the victory of great patriotism, determination for independence, desire for freedom and love for peace of the Vietnamese people for thousands of years. It was the victory of the brilliant guideline of revolution, resistance and diplomacy under the wise leadership of the Communist Party and President Ho Chi Minh. It was the victory of 9 years full of tremendous hardship and great sacrifices. It was the victory for the young revolutionary diplomacy of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam. For the first time the revolutionary diplomacy of Viet Nam stepped onto the international stage and participated in a multilateral conference. This event took place when complexities are unfolding in global landscape. Major countries in the Conference had different goals and interests. But we succeeded. Our negotiation delegation had taken advantage of our victory in the battlefield. We upheld justice and flexibly used various diplomatic strategies. We stuck to a consistent negotiation policy with persuasive yet flexible arguments. The results were indeed of great significance under those circumstances.

The victory at the Geneva Conference was also a fruit of international solidarity. Either during the battle at the Geneva Conference, later efforts to enforce Geneva Agreement’s provisions on ceasefire in Viet Nam, or protracted struggle against colonialism to achieve independence, freedom, and territorial unity and integrity of Viet Nam, our people has received the close support and assistance from Laos and Cambodian revolutionary forces, socialist nations and international friends as well as from peace and justice loving people of the world. The Party, Government and people of Viet Nam shall never forget and be grateful for your assistance and support.

Comrades and distinguished guests,

Sixty years have passed, the international and regional situation has seen many changes, but the Geneva Conference has left us with invaluable lessons for all of our Party, army and people in national defense and development for today and tomorrow. These are:

The lesson learnt in the context of complex global issues where international relations are the playground of major powers. We must uphold the spirit of independence and self-reliance. We must resolutely safeguard national interests. We must be unyielding in principles and flexible in strategies, following Ho Chi Minh’s ideology of “firm objectives, flexible in strategies and tactics”. We must patience in the long and difficult struggle for national independence and freedom.

The lesson of promoting the role of diplomacy, increasing dialogues and using peaceful measures to settle disputes in international relations in accordance with international law. This will help ensure peace and stability in the interests of our people and people of the world.

The lesson of strengthening our country’s potentials and upholding the collective strengths. They are the intrinsic factors that determine and create a solid foundation for the use of foreign relations toprotect our independence, sovereignty, unification, and territorial integrity, and to maintain peace and stability for common development. This lesson follows Uncle Ho’s teaching that “internal strengths will determine the success of external diplomacy”.

The lesson of combining internal strengths with external forces. We shall rally the support of people of the world, as well as peace and justice loving forces in national defense and development.

Dear Comrades,

Ladies andGentlemen,

After nearly 30 years of implementing comprehensive reforms under the initiative and leadership of the Communist Party of Viet Nam, our country has recorded great achievements. Viet Nam has succeeded in maintaining politicaland social stability, reducing poverty, gradually upgrading the material and spiritual living standards of the people and improving the nation’s collective strengths. In international relations, Viet Nam has engaged deeper in international integration. We have established diplomatic relationswithmost of the countries, including strategic partnership and comprehensive partnership with major powers and our neighbours. We have actively participated in international organizations such as ASEAN, APEC, ASEM and the United Nations and made active contribution to the maintenance of peace, security in the region and in the world. Our international reputation and position have been constantly improved.

However, the current situation poses problems and challenges. The economy has experienced slow growth and unsustainability; growth quality, productivity, efficiency, competitiveness and self-reliance remain low. There are problems in the areas of culture, education and training, science and technology, health, and environmental protection. People in some areas have to struggle everyday to survive. Non-traditional security issues emerge, which requires collaborative efforts of the international community. In particular, situation in the East Sea has seen complex developments, including the dispute over sovereignty. This has posed considerable challenges for national independence, sovereignty, solidarity, territorial integrity, peace and national development.

It requires the entire Party, people and armed forces to build on our heroic traditions, strengthening power, unity, and consensus, and creatively applying previous lessons, including those learnt at the 1954 Geneva Conference. It is important to effectively implement the Party and State's policies in all areas. With regards to diplomatic performance, we shall focus onthe following key tasks:

Firstly, continue to strengthen the Party’s comprehensive and unified leadership and the State’s centralized management in foreign affairs. That includes close and harmonious coordination of diplomatic activities of the Party, State and people; combination of political, economic and cultural diplomacy, connecting foreign activities to economic, defense and security. These all aim at creating an unified state to safeguard national defense and development.

Secondly, continue our foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation for mutual development; ensuring national interests as the highest objectives and principles; uncompromising fight against any attempt to infringe upon the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Viet Nam, consistently in our policy to settle disputes by peaceful means, and respect forregional commitmentsandinternational law.

Thirdly, promote proactive and deeper international integration to effectively mobilize and fully tap available resources in and outside the country for national development and defense, improve our collective strengths, enhance our international position, and consistently implement the policy "Viet Nam is a friend, reliable partner and responsible member of the international community, striving for peace, independence, cooperation and development".

Fourthly, in the context of deeper globalization and international integration, the implementation of foreign policy is not only the task of diplomacy but also of the entirepolitical systemand people. Therefore, officials in diplomatic services must be highly professional with political quality, capable of meeting the requirements of the new situation. It is also necessary to improve capability and knowledge of all organizations, agencies, departments, provinces, businesses and individuals inhandling foreign relatedmatters, winning the trust and friendship offoreign friends to Viet Nam. This will contribute to the successful implementation of the Party and State’s foreign policy.

Dear Comrades,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In our history, Viet Nam has always been a peace lovingnation. Walking out of the wars, the people of Viet Nam understand better than anyone else the valueof peace, but peacemust be associated with independence, unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Six decades ago, the entire Party, people and army of Viet Nam fought with great courage, without fears of sacrifice and hardship in a protracted and tough battle to fully protect our independence, national unity, sovereignty and every inch of our sacred Fatherland.

In the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Agreement on the cessation of hostilities in Viet Nam, we are resolved in our stance, in following President Ho Chi Minh diplomatic thoughts. These thoughts were written in his letter sents to the United Nations and other governments, right after President Ho Chi Minh, on behalf of fellow nationals, read the Declaration of Independence giving birth to the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam on September 2nd1945: “... our people sincerely desire peace. But our people will resolutely fight to protect the most sacred right: territorial integrity and national independence for the country”.

We take great pride in our diplomatic tradition of peace, hospitality, friendship and humanity. We hold an unwavering determination to defense our independence, sovereignty, unity andterritorial integrity. We are vowed to do our best to maintain peace, stability, friendship and cooperation for mutual development. However, we will watch out for and fail any attempts to infringe on the independence, sovereignty, unity andterritorial integrity of our sacred Fatherland.

With the power of great national unity, with the international support and with the lessons learnt from the1954 Geneva Conference, we are convinced in the absolute victories of our strugglesof justice for independence, sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity and for the defence and development of our sacred Fatherland.

Long live the glorious Communist Party of Viet Nam!

Long live the Socialist Republic of  Viet Nam!

Great President Ho Chi Minh forever live in our heart!

Thank you.


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