A ceremony was held in Hanoi on July 18 to mark the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Agreement (July 20, 1954-2014) – a significant milestone in the national struggle for independence and freedom.

Attending the ceremony were Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, former Party General Secretaries Le Kha Phieu and Nong Duc Manh, and President Truong Tan Sang, among others.

In his speech, President Truong Tan Sang said the signing of the agreement, after intense negotiations running though 75 days and nights with 31 meetings during the Geneva conference in 1954, was a great victory of the then Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

The agreement on ceasefire in Vietnam was an important step forward in the country’s struggle for liberation, affirming Vietnamese people’s desire for peace, national independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity, he said.

The document created a legal foundation and a spiritual encouragement, as well, for Vietnamese people to win victory in their struggle for complete national liberation, added President Sang.

He highlighted valuable lessons learnt from the course of negotiating the agreement, which remain valid in the current situation after six decades.

They include upholding the principles of independence, self-reliance, and protection of national interests, staying consistent in the implementation of principles but being flexible in undertaking tactics, promoting the role of external activities, utilizing communication and optimising chances of using peaceful measures in settling disputes in accordance with international law.

He also highlighted the gathering of the nation’s strength, the era power, the support of the international community and peace-loving people around the globe.

On the occasion, President Sang thanked the whole-hearted support of Lao and Cambodian revolutionary forces, the great help of socialist countries and international friends in the past and present national defence and construction.

Besides a number of achievements Vietnam has gained after 30 years of reform, the country is also facing many challenges and difficulties, especially those posed by territorial disputes and violations in the East Sea that contest the national independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity as well as the peaceful environment for the national construction.

Facing the situation, the entire Party, people and army should, in a creative manner, apply the experience and lessons drawn from the past, including those from the 1954 Geneva conference, he underscored.

Vietnam will continue pursuing the external policy of independence, self-reliance, peace and cooperation for common development, regarding national interests as the ultimate target and principle, he said.

President Sang stressed that Vietnam will uncompromisingly struggle against any forces attempting to violate its independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, while staying firm in resolving all disputes through peaceful measures on the basis of respecting regional commitments and international law.

He expressed belief that by promoting lessons and experience from the Geneva conference, Vietnam will succeed in its struggle for justice and national independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity in particular and the cause of national construction and defence in general.

During the ceremony, President Sang also conferred the title of Hero of People’s Armed Forces to the delegation of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, which is the Socialist Republic of Vietnam today, to the 1954 Geneva conference.-VNA