From Dien Bien Phu to Geneva: An international perspective

Wednesday - 14/05/2014 22:26
From May 6th-7th, 2014, the international conference “From Dien Bien Phu to Geneva: An international perspective” was co–held by University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH – VNU) and the French Embassy to Vietnam.
From Dien Bien Phu to Geneva: An international perspective
From Dien Bien Phu to Geneva: An international perspective

Participating in the conference were Mr. Jean Noel Poirier (Ambassador of France to Vietnam). Many foreign scholars also taking part in it included Prof.Dr Marc J. Gilbert (President of World History Association), Prof.Dr Carlyle Thayer (Australian Defense Force Academy), Dr. Pierre Journoud (Institute of French Military History), etc...

Vietnamese participants included Dr. Trinh Ngoc Thach (Vice President of the Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children of Vietnam National Assembly), scholars and researchers from top–notch universities and research institutes such as USSH, Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Administration, Institute of Vietnamese History (Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences), Institute of Military History (Ministry of Defense), etc..

At the opening session, Prof. Dr Nguyen Van Khanh (Rector of USSH) had an opening address on the significance of Dien Bien Phu victory as a noteworthy event in the history of Vietnam against foreign invaders. Dien Bien Phu was a symbol of Vietnamese military art and science marked by President Ho Chi Minh and General Vo Nguyen Giap. It went down into history as a precondition of the end of former colonialism.

Dien Bien Phu victory led to the signing of Geneva Accords that ended the war and restored peace in Indochina. For the first time, Vietnamese diplomacy entered the world stage.

To celebrate this significance and the 60th anniversary of Dien Bien Phu victory and the signing of Geneva Accords, this international conference was held to reiterate the factors leading to Vietnam’s victory in Dien Bien Phu, different aspects of the campaign, and its impact on decolonization and worldwide national liberation, etc...

Prof.Dr Nguyen Van Khanh emphasized that, from an international perspective, different issues had to be further discussed based on new approaches such as: Was Geneva a result of peace and East–West dialogue? Did nations come to Geneva with similar approaches? How did national interests and strategies influence the Geneva situation? Did Vietnam successfully play an active role in Geneva? Were the accords merely the arrangement of big powers?

Next, Mr. Jean Noel Poirier (Ambassador of France to Vietnam) also stated Dien Bien Phu came to be an event of great political and historical significance in mankind's history. It was also an important landmark of Vietnam – France relations. Therefore, to analyze and perceive this event from different approaches is necessary for a better Vietnam– France cooperation for prosperity and development in the future.

During two days, the conference progressed with 5 sessions: “The domestic and international contexts of Dien Bien Phu victory”, “The way to Geneva”, “International dimensions of Dien Bien Phu and Geneva Accords”, “The International Support for Vietnam during and after Dien Bien Phu”, “The Impact and Aftermath of Dien Bien Phu”.

Author: Thanh Ha

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