The Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam was signed at the International Conference Center in Paris on January 27, 1973. Just two weeks later, the then Prime Minister Pham Van Dong also signed a decision to establish the Vietnamese Office for Seeking Missing Persons (MIA Vietnam) to implement Article 8B of the Paris Agreement.
|Participants at the ceremony.
This decision reflected the respect and seriousness in deploying the Paris Agreement as well as the tradition of tolerance of Vietnamese people. To date, VNOSMP in collaboration with the US side conducted joint activities with 972 sets of remains being handed over to the US, nearly 720 of which have been identified.
In addition, by organizing joint activities, the US war veterans’ organizations have provided information regarding more than 11,000 Vietnamese martyrs, thus helping Vietnam seek over 1,000 remains.
Speaking at the event, VNOSMP Director Le Thanh Tung said the office is an inter-sectoral group under the management of the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of National Defence and Ministry of Public Security.
Over the past 45 years, thousands of VNOSMP staff together with tens of thousands of personnel from local authorities and walks of life nationwide have sought remains of US servicemen missing in action.
Vietnam’s goodwill and full cooperation has been welcomed by the US administration and Congress, the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia and the US war veterans’ organisations, which also stepped up the US’s efforts to address war consequences in Vietnam, especially post-war bomb and mine clearance and dioxin clean-up in Da Nang and Phu Cat airports, and then Bien Hoa airport in the near future.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc said the VNOSMP needs to continue staying united and working closely with ministries, agencies and localities in the effort. He suggested stepping up policy consultation with attention given to the US’s new proposals.
As Vietnam and the US will mark the 30th anniversary of the joint search for remains of US servicemen this year, Ngoc asked the office to outline a report reviewing its activities, considering it an important milestone to popularize Vietnam’s humanitarian cooperation. By Linh Bui