|Delegates attended the meeting “Paris Peace Accords 1973 – Memories and ways forward”. Photo: Thu Ha
Attending the friendship meeting were 30 international delegates from 15 countries, representing organizations such as: World Peace Council; International Association of Democratic Lawyers; Women’s International Democratic Federation; World Federation of Trade Unions; Cambodia – Vietnam Friendship Association; Laos – Vietnam Friendship Association; France – Vietnam Friendship Association; Swedish Solidarity Committee with Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
Opening the meeting “Paris Peace Accords 1973 – Memories and Ways Forward,” delegates listened to the message of Madame Nguyen Thi Binh, former Vice President, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam, and former head of its negotiating team. She was one of the four signatories of the agreement on ending the war and restoring peace in Vietnam.
In the message, she expressed gratitude to close friends of the Vietnamese people, peace fighters for justice in the world, who supported Vietnam against the US to save the country. She hopes international friends will continue to support Vietnam in the new period, in the stage of defending the Fatherland and building the country.
Phan Anh Son, Vice President – General Secretary of VUFO spoke at the event.
“The Paris Peace Accords on ending the war and restoring peace in Vietnam, signed on January 27, 1973, is a historic event, a victory for the Vietnamese revolution.
The signing of the agreement led to the unconditional withdrawal of American troops from South Vietnam, creating favorable conditions for the spring offensive and the complete reunification of the country on April 30, 1975.
The victory of the Paris Peace Accords particularly as well as the resistance war against the US is the victory of the Vietnamese people.
It is also the great victory of the national liberation movement and of all peace-loving forces in the world, the victory of “conscience”, of belief in justice.”
|Delegates at the meeting “Paris Peace Accords 1973 – Memories and ways forward”. Photo: Thu Ha
“We always engrave in our hearts the international solidarity, the sincere support of millions of people, regardless of skin color and religion in countries with different socio-political regimes across the five continents. They range from ordinary people to political activists, parliamentarians, artists, intellectuals, journalists. They formed an unprecedentedly large front in support of Vietnam,” said Son.
At the friendship meeting “Paris Peace Accords 1973 – Memories and Ways Forward,” VUFO and international friends look back on the past. Together, they review the memories of the arduous years, when the Vietnamese people fought with international friends, so that today’s generations can enjoy independence and freedom.
They are grateful to those who have passed away, so that the next generations will uphold the traditions of their predecessors, promote the people-to-people diplomacy, and international solidarity for peace, social progress and sustainable development.
|Renato Darsie, member of the Italian Communist Party, former president of the Italy-Vietnam Friendship Association’s chapter in the Veneto region at the program. Photo: Thu Ha
During the friendship meeting, there are also exchanges between delegates and a number of close international friends of Vietnam, who directly or indirectly participated in activities to support the Vietnamese people in the resistance war against the US and during the Paris Conference particularly.
The international friends include: Hélène Luc, former senator, former head of Interparliamentary Friendship Groups in the French Senate, honorary president of the French-Vietnamese Friendship Association; Renato Darsie, member of the Italian Communist Party, former president of the Italy-Vietnam Friendship Association’s chapter in the Veneto region, one of the leaders of the movement to support Vietnam in the resistance war against the US and the Paris Peace Accords particularly. He participated in the movement against the war in Vietnam, was repeatedly accused and brought to court by the city government.
John McAuliff, American socio-political activist, joined the anti-war movement and supported the people of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia; Rabin Deb, All India Peace and Solidarity Organization, Communist Party member of India who has participated in many solidarity activities with Vietnam as well as Cuba, Nicaragua, South Africa, Palestine and Bangladesh; Lorena Peña Mendoza, president of the Women’s International Democratic Federation; George Buchett, artist, son of the late journalist Wilfred Burchett, who made many contributions to awakening Western public opinion to support Vietnam’s struggle for independence and reunification; Pham Van Chuong, former standing deputy head, Commission for external relations, Party Central Committee, former head of Vietnam Committee for Asian-African-Latin America Solidarity.
|VUFO leaders took photos with delegates. Photo: Thu Ha
The exchange consisted of two sessions, in which in Session 1 – Unforgettable Memories, the delegates shared the memories during their activities in support of the Vietnamese people in the resistance war against the US and during the Paris Conference.
At Session 2 – International Solidarity in the Current Context, the delegates shared about the way to continue to help and support Vietnam.
“Fifty years from the date the Paris Peace Accords was signed, international friends still retain their enthusiasm and love for the country and people of Vietnam. They continue to mobilize international solidarity to support Vietnam in the cause of national construction and defense.
Having said that, these are ageless friends, their love for Vietnam is extremely strong. This is the strength of international solidarity, of the Vietnamese nation.
We are so touched and grateful to you! We need to do more to contribute to advancing the world peace movement, addressing the common challenges of the world.”
Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, president of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations
In gratitude for the contributions of international friends, the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations decided to present the medal “For peace and friendship among nations” to a number of international friends, including:
Viktor Alekseevich Petrov, former member of the Asia-Africa Solidarity Committee and the Soviet Committee supporting Vietnam from 1973 to 1991; Botz Laszlo, president of the Hungary-Vietnam Friendship Association; Kollár Endre, former officer of the International Commission for Supervision and Control in Vietnam; Váraljai Márton, vice president of the Hungary-Vietnam Friendship Association; Hélène Luc, honorary president of the France-Vietnam Friendship Association (AAFV); Rabin Deb, All India Peace and Solidarity Organization; John Terzano, founder of the organizations “American Veterans Against the Vietnam War”, “Veterans for America” and the Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund; Virginia Foote, vice president, board of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham Hanoi).