Historical Witness: Paris Peace Accords Conveys Message of Peace

Fifty years ago, international friends contributed their voices to support the just struggle of Vietnam. Visiting Vietnam after half a century, friends, historical witnesses of the negotiation and signing of the Paris Peace Accords have seen positive changes on the S-shaped strip of land.
January 15, 2023 | 09:47
Historical Witness: Paris Peace Accords Conveys Message of Peace
Rabin Deb, representative of All India Peace and Solidarity Organization. Photo: Son Nguyen

Rabin Deb, representative of All India Peace and Solidarity Organization:

Paris Peace Accords - symbol of peace lovers

Since the 60s of the last century, the movement of the people of India and Vietnam to support each other has been established. Many solidarity activities were organized to support the just struggle for independence of the Vietnamese people. I still remember the slogan “Your name, my name, our name, Vietnam! Vietnam!,” “Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh.”

We, supporters of the righteous resistance of Vietnam, were delighted when the Paris Peace Accords was finally signed on January 27, 1973.

However, we are also aware that signing is one thing, implementing the agreement's contents in practice is much more difficult. Gladly, Vietnam has completed the cause of national liberation and reunification. The signing of the Paris Peace Accords is a symbol of peace not only of Vietnam but also of peace-loving people in the world.

Along with the victory of the agreement, Vietnamese diplomats also left a deep impression..

Nguyen Thi Binh is a great person, she devoted her whole career to the cause of national liberation. I still remember, in 1970, Binh's delegation visited India and was greeted by hundreds of people with the banner "Welcome Madame Binh."

After that, I had the opportunity to meet Madame Binh in person a few times. The first time was in 2007, when she visited West Bengal state and participated in the India-Vietnam festival and the second time in Hanoi, when celebrating the 40th anniversary of the signing of the agreement.

This year, Madame Binh is older and her health is no longer the same, but I still see her enthusiasm and dedication in her eyes and words.

Viktor Alekseevich Petrov, Chairman of the Russian Association for Friendship and Cultural Cooperation with the DPRK

Vietnam has made wonderful changes

If you were in Vietnam at the time of signing the Paris Peace Accords and experience life today, you will see how wonderful the change in your country is.

Historical Witness: Paris Peace Accords Conveys Message of Peace
Viktor Alekseevich Petrov, Chairman of the Russian Association for Friendship and Cultural Cooperation with the DPRK. Photo: Thu Ha

I have been to Vietnam many times. Once was when the war was still raging, once to attend the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Agreement and this time on the 50th anniversary.

Every time I return to Vietnam, I am amazed at the rapid changes in your country. Those are the changes that can be seen with the naked eye like modern cities, skyscrapers replacing the images of houses, villages, ruined streets in the past war.

These are also changes that are more fundamental and sustainable. Your country is growing richer with impressive achievements in economy and society. People's lives are improved, prosperous, free and happy.

We appreciate Vietnam's sentiments for the former Soviet Union and today's Russia. We are also proud to always stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Vietnam. It is a special friendship between the two peoples from the past to the present and will continue to grow stronger.

George Burchett (Australia):

Vietnam - Australia strengthen cooperation for peace

Historical Witness: Paris Peace Accords Conveys Message of Peace
George Burchett. Photo: Thu Ha

Vietnam is one of the most independent countries in the world. Returning to Vietnam this time, your country has no more wars and bombs. Welcoming us is a beautiful country, people with friendly smiles and hospitality.

Your country's reputation in the international arena is positive, including historic victories such as the signing of the Paris Peace Accords and the restoration of peace in Vietnam in 1973.

At that time, the world thought that the war in Vietnam was just a civil war. However, my father - journalist Wilfred Burchett went directly to the battlefield to find out information. After that, he understood the unrighteous nature of the US deployment in Vietnam.

During the negotiations, he moved the whole family to Paris to live, to report on the negotiations. He said he wanted to contribute to the peace in Vietnam. Because of the articles supporting Vietnam, my father was stripped of his Australian passport for many years.

The signing of the agreement had a positive impact on the relationship between Vietnam and Australia. Former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam has established official diplomatic relations with Vietnam.

Since then, the relationship between Vietnam and Australia has been developing well in many fields. I hope that the two countries will strengthen cooperation for peace and organize activities to exchange experts in this field.

Xaphouvong Bouangeun, Vice President of the Laos - Vietnam Friendship Association:

Paris Peace Accords is the premise and source of encouragement for the Lao revolution

Historical Witness: Paris Peace Accords Conveys Message of Peace
Xaphouvong Bouangeun, Vice President of the Laos - Vietnam Friendship Association. Photo: Hai An

In the early days of the Lao revolution, we were greatly supported by the Vietnamese Party and State. We fought together and won.

The Paris Peace Accords on ending the war and restoring peace in Vietnam was signed on January 13, 1973. After the agreement was signed, the atmosphere of confidence in the final victory day in Laos was exciting.

A month later, the Vientiane Agreement on the restoration of peace in Laos was signed (February 21, 1973). The Paris Peace Accords was a great encouragement for the revolution, the Laotian army and people to move forward to fulfill their revolutionary tasks. Because of the Paris Peace Accords, there was the Vientiane Agreement, from which the Laotian revolution succeeded until today.

I believe that the relationship between the two countries will continue to develop. After the Covid-19 pandemic is under control, people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, especially people of provinces with common borders (visiting, trading and doing business) will be developed.

Historical Witness: Paris Peace Accords Conveys Message of Peace
Rabindra Adhikari, Asia/Pacific Coordinator, World Peace Council. Photo: Son Nguyen

Rabindra Adhikari, Asia/Pacific Coordinator, World Peace Council:

People-to-people diplomacy contributes to maintaining peace

Looking at the Paris Peace Conference and the negotiation process, we all realize that military intervention and use of force in international relations do not receive the support of the peace-loving people and progressive public opinion in the world.

At the same time, the promotion of mutual understanding, cooperation, efforts to achieve and maintain peace are necessary in historical periods.

To maintain peace, it is also necessary to promote people-to-people exchanges, mutual understanding between nations and political parties for peaceful coexistence.

Vietnam is implementing a neutral and peaceful foreign policy, developing foreign relations with many countries around the world. This policy received great support from the international community.

Botz Laszlo, President of the Hungary-Vietnam Friendship Association:

Introducing Vietnam's struggle for peace to the people of Hungary

Historical Witness: Paris Peace Accords Conveys Message of Peace
Botz Laszlo, President of the Hungary-Vietnam Friendship Association discussed with VUFO President Nguyen Phuong Nga about the plan to publish a book introducing Vietnamese culture, history and people to Hungarian people. Photo: Thu Ha

I was an officer in the International Commission for Supervision and Control in Vietnam. That was the first time I came to Vietnam.

I started learning about the Vietnam war. I came to Vietnam for the first time in 1973. I see happy Vietnamese people with the smiles on their faces.

I am impressed with the optimism of the people even in wartime. I witnessed Vietnam during the war and after the war. Every time I return here, I witness Vietnam's amazing transformation.

Having witnessed many conflicts and wars, I think it is necessary to maintain peace, cooperation and friendship among nations.

As for the Hungary-Vietnam relationship, I think that many things need to be done to promote the people-to-people relations of the two countries.

Many Hungarians do not know about Vietnam and the Vietnamese people's struggle for peace, independence and freedom. Therefore, we plan to cooperate with the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations to publish a book about Vietnam, introducing the culture, history and people of Vietnam to the Hungarian people, especially the young generation.

Lorena Peña Mendoza, President of the Women's International Democratic Federation:

Experience of people-to-people diplomacy applied in El Salvador

Historical Witness: Paris Peace Accords Conveys Message of Peace
Lorena Peña Mendoza, President of the Women's International Democratic Federation, reads the newspaper of the Vietnam Times. Photo: Thu Ha

The struggle of the Vietnamese people on the political and diplomatic fronts had a great influence on the Latin American people's struggle for independence.

Vietnam's people-to-people diplomacy was used in the people's war in El Salvador many years later. It is a lesson about how a small country constantly learns, fights for independence and sovereignty.

Finding peaceful solutions, such as negotiating the Paris Peace Accords, is a lesson and challenge in the current era. It is important to protect the right of peoples to self-determination, to protect each person's right to live in peace. Vietnam has always been an example of defending national sovereignty, developing the country and fighting for world peace.

As President of the Women's International Democratic Federation, I would like to mention another aspect of peace.

Through discussions with colleagues such as Ha Thi Nga, President of the Vietnam Women's Union, we think that to have world peace, first of all, there must be independence and personal security. Therefore, we fight for the safety, development of women, against domestic violence.

Chap Sotharith (Cambodia), Secretary General of the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Association:

Paris Peace Accords creates a premise for Vietnam's development

Historical Witness: Paris Peace Accords Conveys Message of Peace
Chap Sotharith (Cambodia), Secretary General of the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Association. Photo: Thu Ha

The Paris Peace Accords related to the national liberation struggle of three Indochinese countries: Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. The agreement creates opportunities for the development of Vietnam today. Without this agreement, those achievements would not have happened.

Vietnam has become a developed country in the region, participating in the global playing field, especially in politics.

In 2023, I believe that the close relationship between the two countries and the two peoples will continue to develop positively in all fields. We are neighbors, good brothers.

Our Friendship Association will coordinate and work closely with Vietnam so that the cooperation between the two sides will be more frequent and more effective.

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