Paris Peace Accords

Paris Peace Accords
Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam
SignedJanuary 27, 1973 (1973-01-27)
Negotiators
SignatoriesSee below
Parties
Paris Peace Accords at Wikisource

The Paris Peace Accords, officially titled the Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam, was a peace treaty signed on January 27, 1973, to establish peace in Vietnam and end the Vietnam War. The treaty included the governments of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam), the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), and the United States, as well as the Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG) that represented indigenous South Vietnamese revolutionaries. US ground forces up to that point had been sidelined with deteriorating morale, and gradually withdrawn to coastal regions, not partaking in offensive operations or much direct combat for the preceding two-year period.[1][2] The Paris Agreement Treaty would in effect remove all remaining US Forces, including air and naval forces in exchange for Hanoi's POWs.[2] Direct U.S. military intervention was ended, and fighting between the three remaining powers temporarily stopped for less than a day.[2] The agreement was not ratified by the United States Senate.[3][4]

The negotiations that led to the accord began in 1968, after various lengthy delays. As a result of the accord, the International Control Commission (ICC) was replaced by the International Commission of Control and Supervision (ICCS) to fulfill the agreement. The main negotiators of the agreement were United States National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese politburo member Lê Đức Thọ; the two men were awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts, although Lê Đức Thọ refused to accept it.

The agreement's provisions were immediately frequently broken with no response from the United States. Fighting broke out in March 1973, and North Vietnamese offenses enlarged their control by the end of the year. Two years later, a massive North Vietnamese offensive conquered South Vietnam.[2]

Provisions of the accords

The approximate areas of control at the time of the signing of the Accord. The South Vietnamese government controlled about 80 percent of the territory and 90 percent of the population, although many areas were contested.

The document began with the statement that "the United States and all other countries respect the independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Vietnam as recognized by the 1954 Geneva Agreements on Vietnam". The inclusion of this provision was a victory for the communist side —Saigon[clarification needed] and the Vietcong—towards a political settlement that would allow the South Vietnamese people to "decide themselves the political future of South Viet-Nam through genuinely free and democratic general elections under international supervision."

  • Reunification of Vietnam was to be "carried out step by step through peaceful means".
  • If South Vietnam required any military hardware to defend itself against any North Vietnam aggression, the United States agreed to provide replacement aid to the South Vietnam on a piece-by-piece, one-to-one replacement basis.[5]