Senator Ngo introduces motion to reconvene the International Conference on Viet-Nam
[For immediate release]- June 30, 2021
On June 29, 2021, Senator Thanh Hai Ngo spoke to his motion in the Senate, Motion to Reconvene the International Conference on Viet-Nam.
This Motion urges the Government of Canada to call upon six or more of the current parties to the 1973 Act of the International Conference on Viet-Nam (the Act) to agree to reconvene the International Conference on Viet-Nam, pursuant to Article 7(b) of the Act.
On March 2, 1973 a conference was concluded by the signing of the Act, wherein, the parties to the Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet-Nam (the Paris Peace Accords) and eight other countries – Canada, France, Hungary, Indonesia, Poland, UK, the Soviet Union, and China – pledged they would, henceforth, not only uphold and support its terms but also abide by its provisions, including those related to foreign interference. Both the Act and the Paris Peace Accords were registered with the UN Secretariat on May 13, 1974.
In absolute violation of the 1973 Paris Peace Accords and of the Act, North Vietnam’s Communist forces invaded South Vietnam on April 30, 1975. Moreover, in 1974 and 1988, China invaded Vietnam’s Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands, respectively. These invasions are violations of the Act, allowing any signatory country to reconvene the International Conference as per the conditions set out in Article 7(b) of the Act.
There are compelling grounds that indicate the Act remains in force. The Act continues to be considered in force by the U.S. Department of State as of January 1, 2020, with Canada still listed as one of the parties. It also specifically provides a mechanism for the International Conference to be reconvened without the U.S and Vietnam jointly requesting it; therefore, the Act continues to be binding on the other eight signatory countries.
I believe the Act remains a valuable mechanism for the resolution of disputes between signatory parties that arise from violations of their terms – particularly, to protect the “[…] fundamental national rights of the Vietnamese people, i.e., the independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Viet-Nam and the right of the South Vietnamese people to self-determination” (articles 4 and 5 of the Act) and to the peaceful and diplomatic resolution of the South China Sea dispute, in general. Canada has always championed freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law – values on which our great country was founded and that are core to our security and prosperity. As a signatory to the Act and a nation that has been at the forefront of peacekeeping efforts in Vietnam and around the world, Canada therefore, has a moral obligation and vested interest in continuing to preserve and promote the international rules-based order by spearheading this important initiative.
For more information, please contact:
Office of the Honourable Thanh Hai Ngo