India-Vietnam Bilateral Relations Aim for Regional Peace, Stability and Prosperity: Anil Wadhwa

July 24, 2014

New Delhi: In a Round Table on India-Vietnam Relations on the 60th Anniversary of the Geneva Accords, Secretary (East), Shri Anil Wadhwa, while highlighting the reasons for the failure of the Geneva Accord, expressed hope that “through an evolved global conscience and a trend towards multi polarity involving greater say by every member of this international comity, we will be able to move towards the direction of the objective of global peace.” The Round Table was organised by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and the Vietnamese Embassy in New Delhi on July 24, 2014.

Global peace can be better achieved when development and progress is assured to all individuals, as this will be the basis for peace and security, stated Mr Wadhwa, adding that “we need to work on stable security structures that promote resolution of disputes through negotiations, based on law and without recourse to use of force.”

Appreciating The Vietnamese government’s support to India in its “legitimate demand for expansion of the United Nations Security Council”, he said that “an early reform of the United Nations so that it reflects contemporary geo-political realities, is the need of the hour.”

With more than 40 years of establishment of full diplomatic relations behind India and Vietnam, “we are at a notable juncture of in our bilateral relations,” asserted Secretary East, adding that “our partnership, based on common vision, stands for mutual benefit and regional peace, stability and prosperity”.

Also speaking on the occasion was the Vietnamese Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Nguyen Than Tan. The Ambassador terming theGeneva Agreement as a “major victory of great significance to the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam” said that the agreement created the firm foundation for our people to continue our struggle to achieve the overall victory.”

Describing India as a close friend, the Ambassador said that recent years have witnessed a development of the strategic partnership between Vietnam and India in depth and length and the “relationship has become stronger and stronger for interest, prosperity of our two people, for peace and solidarity in the region and the world at large.”

Reiterating Vietnam’s commitment to peace, the Ambassador said that “walking out of the wars, the people of Vietnam understand the value of peace. But we understand that peace must be associated with independence, unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity. We are vowed to do our best to maintain peace, stability, friendship and cooperation for mutual development.”

Defence Attaché, Embassy of Vietnam in India, Sr Col Pham Thanh Luong said that the East-West relationship has changed from confrontation to dialogue, from “possible enemies” to partners’ since the 1954 Geneva Conference on Indo-China and the Asia-Europe Meeting in late 1990s.

“Peace, dialogue and cooperation is a major trend of the world after the Cold War and Vietnam has been working with countries and organizations at international forum to develop its nation, while taking part in maintaining world peace. Vietnam has joined many regional and international groupings, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC), the Asia - Europe Meeting (ASEM), the International Trade Organization (WTO). Integration is a demand pushed by globalization, with the participation of all countries regardless of their political regimes or economic levels” he concluded.

The other panellists at the round table included Ambassador SK Bhutani; Ambassador Aftab Seth, former Indian Ambassador to Vietnam; Prof Chintamani Mahapatra of JNU; Mr KL Malhotra, Chairman, India-Vietnam Friendship Society: India-Vietnam Relations; and Dr Udai Bhanu Singh of the IDSA. Ambassador Bhutani and Ambassador Seth gave personal recollections of their dealings with ICC and Vietnamrespectively.

India- Vietnam relations have matured over the years with early experience of struggle against colonialism and racialism and a continuing struggle to achieve rapid growth and bring the fruits of development to their respective societies. The 60th anniversary of the Geneva Accords serves as a reminder as to how much the global context in which India and Vietnam operate in has changed or remained the same.

The Geneva Accords comprise a collection of 10 documents relating to Indochina that were issued from the Geneva Conference, held between April 26- July 21, 1954, in which representatives of Cambodia, China, France, Laos, UK, US, Soviet Union and Vietnam (Viet Minh/ North Vietnamese and the State of Vietnam or South Vietnam) participated.

As part of its efforts to have greater interactions between the policy makers of India and Vietnam on a sustained basis, IDSA has signed a number of MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding) with several think tanks of Vietnam.