President Ho Chi Minh read the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945, to inform the world of the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the first worker-peasant state in Southeast Asia. 

After 7 decades, the Declaration of Independence, confirming the right to life and self-determination of the Vietnamese people, has maintained its values. 

The Declaration of Independence showed the strategic views of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh. It announced to the world that Vietnam has the same right to independence and freedom as other countries and affirmed the staunch will of all Vietnamese people to be ready to sacrifice everything to defend national independence.

President Ho Chi Minh declaring the independence of Vietnam to the world. Archived photo

A legal document

The Declaration of Independence is an official legal document proclaiming Vietnam’s independence. Associate Professor Doctor Nguyen Trong Phuc, former Director of the Institute of Party History of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Public Administration, said in the Declaration of Independence, President Ho Chi Minh affirmed the legality of Vietnam’s struggle for freedom and independence. He wrote that a nation that bravely fought against colonialism for 80 years and was in the Allied Forces against fascism from 1941 to 1942, must have freedom and independence.

The Declaration stated an undeniable fact: that the Communist Party of Vietnam, President Ho Chi Minh, and the Vietnam Independence Alliance Association led the revolution to success.

While affirming the legal status of Vietnam’s independence and sovereignty, the Declaration underscored the iron-willed determination of the Vietnamese nation to defend freedom and independence.

The continuation of universal values

In the Declaration of Independence, President HCM quoted the US Declaration of Independence of 1766 and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1791 to confirm the rights of Vietnamese people. President HCM intended the Vietnamese revolution to be a continuation of universal human evolution.

Associate Professor Doctor Nguyen The Thang, Head of the Faculty of HCM Thoughts Stadies, of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Public Administration, said President HCM named the basic rights that Vietnamese people deserved to have which were violated by the imperialists and colonialists. The revolution wrested back the basic rights of Vietnamese people, including the rights to live in independence, freedom, and in pursuit of happiness.

Turning human rights into national rights was President HCM’s strategic view, which was of great importance for Vietnam and other oppressed nations.

Doctor Cao Duc Thai, former Director of the Research Institute on Human Rights of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Public Administration said a famous Japanese researcher said President HCM’s contribution to socio-politics was to elevate personal rights into national rights in the Declaration of Independence. Before President HCM, no leaders had ever mentioned the rights of colonial countries.

Eternal values

The Declaration of Independence was a milestone in Vietnam’s history. The document has been a direction for Vietnam’s development.

Phuc added "We gained independence and national unification by the victory in 1975. Since then we have strived to protect independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity and improve our basic national rights. We have developed towards socialism and targets of independence, freedom, and happiness for its people. We have upheld the values of the Declaration of Independence in national construction and development.”

In the national renewal, “the rights to live in independence, equality, and humanity” stated in the Declaration of Independence 70 years ago continue to guide the Vietnamese nation in national development and defense.

Source: VOV