January 24, 1973
The peace accords signed in January 1973 by the United States and North Vietnam in Paris, France, signaled the end of America’s long involvement in Vietnam. The Treaty of Paris initiated a cease-fire and provided for the step-by-step reunification of North and South Vietnam through “peaceful means.” The cease-fire ultimately did not hold, but the disengagement saved face for the United States. The accords created an interval between the end of the U.S. role in Vietnam and the final North Vietnamese takeover of South Vietnam in April 1975. Herbert S. Parmet
The Vietnamese People's Fundamental National Rights
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.
Cessation of Hostilities-Withdrawal of Troops
A cease-fire shall be observed throughout South Vietnam as of 2400 hours G.M.T., on January 27, 1973.
At the same hour, the United States will stop all its military activities against the territory of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam by ground, air and naval forces, wherever they may be based, and end the mining of the territorial waters, ports, harbors, and waterways of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The United States will remove, permanently deactivate or destroy all the mines in the territorial waters, ports, harbors, and waterways of North Vietnam as soon as this agreement goes into effect.
The complete cessation of hostilities mentioned in this Article shall be durable and without limit of time.
The parties undertake to maintain the cease-fire and to ensure a lasting and stable peace.
As soon as the cease-fire goes into effect:
(a) The United States forces and those of the other foreign countries allied with the United States and the Republic of Vietnam shall remain in-place pending the implementation of the plan of troop withdrawal. The Four-Party Joint Military Commission described in Article 16 shall determine the modalities.
(b) The armed forces of the two South Vietnamese parties shall remain in-place. The Two-Party Joint Military Commission described by Article 17 shall determine the areas controlled by each party and the modalities of stationing.
(c) The regular forces of all services and arms and the irregular forces of the parties in South Vietnam shall stop all offensive activities against each other and shall strictly abide by the following stipulations:
—All acts of force on the ground, in the air, and on the sea shall be prohibited.
—All hostile acts, terrorism and reprisals by both sides will be banned.
The United States will not continue its military involvement or intervene in the internal affairs of South Vietnam.…
The reunification of Vietnam shall be carried out step by step through peaceful means on the basis of discussions and agreements between North and South Vietnam, without coercion or annexation by either party, and without foreign interference. The time for reunification will be agreed upon by North and South Vietnam.
(a) The military demarcation line between the two zones at the 17th parallel is only provisional and not a political or territorial boundary, as provided for in paragraph 6 of the Final Declaration of the 1954 Geneva Conference.…
(d) North and South Vietnam shall not join any military alliance or military bloc and shall not allow foreign powers to maintain military bases, troops, military advisers, and military personnel on their respective territories, as stipulated in the 1954 Geneva Agreements on Vietnam.
Source: Department of State Bulletin, February 12, 1973.