Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung underscored the need to bring into full play the spirit of the great Victory of 1975 spring and strive for a more prosperous country in his speech delivered at a commemoration ceremony of the 40th Anniversary of the Liberation of the South and National Reunification (April 30, 1975 – April 30, 2015).
Following is the full text of the PM’s speech.
“ Leaders, former Leaders of the Party, State and Fatherland Front of Vietnam,
Revolutionary veterans, Vietnamese heroic mothers, heroes of the People’s Armed forces,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, amidst the glorious ambience of the historical April days, the entire Party, people and army of Vietnam are joyfully and proudly organising a solemn celebration to commemorate the 40 th anniversary of the liberation of the South and reunification of the country.
On behalf of the Party, State and Vietnam Fatherland Front, I would like to convey to revolutionary veterans, Vietnamese heroic mothers, heroes of the armed forces; officers and soldiers of the People's Army and the People’s Public Security; international guests, fellow countrymen and comrades across the country, my warmest greetings and congratulations.
Dear compatriots and comrades,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The great victory of 1975 Spring is a glorious chapter in our great history of national construction and defense. With that victory, we accomplished a historic mission of liberating the South and reunifying the country, bringing Vietnam into a new era - the era of independence and reunification and building the socialist Vietnam into a strong nation with wealthy people, democratic, just and civilised society.
At this very sacred and touching moment, the Party, State and people and army pay tribute with deepest gratitude to our great President Ho Chi Minh – the genius leader, the hero of national liberation and the cultural figure of the world – the man who brought glory to our nation.
We have always enshrined in our hearts the gratitude to outstanding leaders of the Party and country; heroic martyrs, comrades and compatriots who sacrificed and dedicated their whole life to the struggle for national independence, freedom and reunification.
We are also grateful to the revolutionary veterans, Vietnamese heroic mothers, heroes of the armed forces, war invalids, martyr families, families with meritorious contribution to the country, veterans, former youth volunteers, battlefield civil workers, as well as compatriots and comrades all over the country and abroad for devoting their sweat and blood, wisdom, talent, energy, and wealth to the great war of resistance.
At this solemn ceremony, once again, we would like to express our sincere thanks to the people of socialist countries, especially the Soviet Union and China; and to peace-loving and progressive, governments, movements, organizations and individuals across the world for their whole-hearted support and assistance, both spiritual and material, to the legitimate struggle for national independence and reunification of Vietnam.
Dear compatriots and comrades,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
After gaining the victory in the struggle against French colonialists, the people of Vietnam had the right to realise their sacred aspiration to live in a peaceful, unified, independent, free, and prosperous country that enjoyed equal relations and friendship with all nations in the world. Yet, US imperialists imposed neocolonial regime to turn South Vietnam into a US military base, brutally repressed the revolution in the South and waged devastating war in the North. They committed countless barbarous crimes, causing immeasurable losses and pains to our people and country. Our Homeland had to undergo extremely serious challenges.
However, the people of Vietnam did not fear. Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom. We would rather endure and sacrifice than lose the independence and be slaves. President Ho Chi Minh’s call became the sacred imperative in the heart and mind of every Vietnamese.
Under the wise leadership of the Party and our beloved Uncle Ho, the army and people of the entire nation overcame numerous hardships and difficulties and remained resilient, creative to conduct heroic battles, made sacrifice to bring about the final resounding victory. Under the motto drive the American away, defeat the Nguy, the 1975 spring general offensive and uprising was ended with the triumph of the historic Ho Chi Minh Campaign to accomplish the liberation of the South and reunification of the North - South of Vietnam. Our people were overwhelmed with joy on this day of victory. This great victory was also rejoiced whole-heartedly by our friend s near and far and by the peace loving people around the world.
The victory of the war against America is the victory of the ardent patriotism, the burning desire for peace, independence, freedom and unification of our compatriots; and to the military policy and art of Vietnam under the brilliant and creative leadership of the Party; of the synergy of our great national unity; of the absolute loyalty and the fighting and winning spirit of our people's armed forces with the excellent leadership of talented commanders; of the friendship and valuable support by international friends; of the alliance of the peoples of three countries, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, to fight shoulder to shoulder against the common enemy.
The 1975 Great Spring Victory, the liberation of the South and national unification are of great historical significance. In the Political Report presented at the Fourth Party Congress on December 14th 1976, Comrade General Secretary Le Duan reaffirmed that "Time will pass by, but the victory of our people in the cause of resistance against America will ever go down in the history of our nation as one of the most glorious pages, a shining symbol of a triumph thanks to the revolutionary heroism and humanity intelligence, and this will go down in the world history as a great victory of the twentieth century, a landmark event of great international significance and of the time ".
Compatriots and comrades,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
After accomplishing the liberation of the South and national unification, our country had to confront with a multitude of challenges. Under the leadership of the Party, the management of the State, the solidarity and unified efforts of our people and army, we have exerted great efforts to overcome the severe consequences of the war, break the embargo, and bravely fought to protect the northern and southwestern borders, helped the people of Cambodia escape from the genocidal regime and carried out the reform for national development and defense.
After 30 years of reform, we have recorded great achievements of historical significance. From an underdeveloped nation, we have become a middle income developing country with annual average growth of 7 percent. The economic structure has seen positive transformation. Industries and services have accounted for 83 percent of the total GDP. The economy kept growing; GDP and export expanded by 7 folds and 200 folds respectively. GDP per capita in 2015 amounts to 2,200 USD. Economic and social infrastructure has strongly developed with many modern projects to create a new image for the country.
Social progress, justice, cultural development and the cause of new rural building also achieved positive results. Social security was basically ensured , social welfare and people’s life was greatly improved. Poverty rate fell sharply to less than 6 percent. More than 98 percent of households have used electricity from the national grid. Life expectancy increased from 64.8 in 1986 to 73.5 in 2015. Vietnam has fulfilled ahead of schedule most of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
National defense and security were reinforced, national sovereignty firmly safeguarded. Foreign affairs and international integration were actively promoted, achieving encouraging results. To date, our country has established diplomatic, trade and investment relations with almost countries and territories around the world; at present, Vietnam has attracted more than 18,200 FDI projects with total registered capital of 256 billion USD. Our country’s role and the position in the international arena were increasingly enhanced. We are grateful and look forward to the continued support and effective assistance from the international community.
The building of the Party, rule of law and political system has been stepped up and socialist democracy widely promoted. Our great national unity was further consolidated.
In the past years, given the adverse impacts of the global financial crisis and economic recession, we have been able to control inflation, maintain macroeconomic stability and economic growth at a reasonable level and improve social security.
Achievements in various fields in the last 40 years have provided an important and precious basis and premise for our country to continue with more comprehensive reforms in the new period.
Besides the achievements and progress made, we are also aware that: Socio-economic development is not commensurate with our potentials. We have not created a platform to turn our country into an industrial nation. The growth quality, business environment and the economy’s competitiveness remained limited. The socialist-oriented market institutions have not really become strong driving force for socio-economic development. The quality of human resources and socio-economic infrastructure has yet met the requirements. The gap in economic development compared to many countries in the region was not narrowed down as expected. There remained weaknesses in the cultural, social areas and environmental protection that have not been addressed properly. Rich and poor gap was widened. The socio-economic management remained ineffective in various aspects. The political system was not reformed comprehensively, its capacity and performance were not commensurate with the entrusted mandate. The degradation in political ideology, ethics and lifestyle of a number of cadres and Party members, as well as redtape, corruption, wastefulness were not removed. Our socialist building and national defence still encounter various difficulties and challenges.
Compatriots and comrades,
In the new development phase, the national construction and defence are presented with both opportunities and challenges. To bring into full play the spirit of the Great Victory in the Spring of 1975, the entire Party, people and army are committed to joining hands together and striving to take advantage of opportunities - advantages and overcome all difficulties - challenges, to translate our beloved Uncle Ho's desire into reality to build a more prosperous nation, a united socialist country, and a strong country with wealthy people, democratic, just and civilized society. We are also committed and determined to safeguarding independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity to be worthy of the noble sacrifice of our comrades, fellow heroes and martyrs.
The whole Party, people, army - each of us, please join hands together to bring into full play our patriotism spirit; step up the comprehensive reform process; strengthen our great national unity; to build a strong Party, state and political system, ensure political and social stability, and promote rapid and sustainable socio-economic development, thus creating a more solid foundation to soon turn our country into an industrial and modern nation.
We should continue improving the institution and operation of the socialist- oriented market economy, maintaining macroeconomic stability, accelerating the three strategic breakthroughs associated with the restructuring of the economy, the transformation of growth model, improving productivity, quality and competitiveness. We should also mobilise and utilise resources at home and abroad, promote the development of Vietnamese businesses, create favorable conditions for the people to do business freely and creatively. Besides, we need to improve our economy’s self-reliance.
Economic growth should be closely linked with social progress, justice, cultural development, environmental protection, climate change response and the promotion of new rural building. To ensure social security, we should constantly improve social welfare, material and spiritual life of the people. Also, we should attach importance to the implementation of policies for persons with great contributions to the nation.
Focus should be placed on building our Party cleaner, stronger, truly ethical and civilized as Uncle Ho ever wished; enhancing the Party’s leadership capacity, combat spirit, and reforming the leadership and ruling methodology. It is important to further improve the socialist rule-of-law State; ensure human and citizen rights; and strongly promote democracy and freedom of the people. Steps should be taken to accelerate administrative reform; develop a modern, professional, dynamic, and responsible administration that puts highest priority to serving the people, businesses and national interests. In addition, we need to perform our leading and exemplary role in combating and preventing corruption, wastefulness, red-tape, as well as the degradation in the political ideology, ethics and lifestyle of Party’s members. It is equally important to maintain and strengthen the confidence in the people, and closely knit ties between the Party and the people because this is the root of power of our Party. We must also renew the operation and enhance the role of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and mass organisations.
We also need to strengthen national defense and security; safeguard national sovereignty, territorial integrity, as well as public order and security. Efforts should also be undertaken to develop strong army and public security as well as entire people’s defense and security strategies.
We continue to pursue a foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, friendship, cooperation, development, multilateralisation and diversification of international relations, active and proactive international integration and cooperation for national interests, creating a favorable environment and conditions for national construction and defence.
Proceeding from the tradition of peace and friendship, it is our consistent policy to put the past behind and look forward to the future. Vietnam is a friend and reliable partner, a responsible member in the international community. We will continue to engage in equal cooperation for mutual benefits; observe the United Nations Charter; respect independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-interference into internal affairs, contributing to peace, national independence, democracy and social advance in the world.
Following President Ho Chi Minh’s teaching on Solidarity, solidarity, great solidarity – Success, success, great success, the Vietnamese people at home and abroad, let us uphold the sense of nationalism, patriotism and compassion the tradition of humanity, justice, tolerance, regardless of the past and differences, join hands in national reconciliation, nuture and bring into full play the national solidarity, all for a peaceful, united, independent, democratic, and prosperous Vietnam as our beloved Uncle Ho last wished in his will.
Compatriots, comrades and distinguished delegates,
Today, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of liberation of the South and national reunification, and the International Labor Day, May 1st. We would like to extend our sincere thanks and solidarity to working people worldwide for their strong support accorded to Vietnam and for their tireless efforts in the struggle for peace, development, justice and progress across the globe.
We warmly congratulate, praise, and honor all the people who are working hard and making contribution in all fields across the country and especially those who are nights and days safeguarding the border and islands of the Fatherland as well as the people’s peaceful life.
Our Party, State, and people count on and create every favorable condition for the Vietnamese young generations to nurture their dreams, aspirations, take the lead and innovative role in cause of science and technology and cultural development, improve their ethics and lifestyle, carry on the glorious revolutionary cause of their predecessors, become the vanguard in the reform, national building and defence.
This year, Vietnam commemorates a host of significant festivals and events. Building upon the tradition of our nation, Party, heroic people’s armed forces and inspired by the Great Spring 1975 Victory, the entire Party, people, and army exert all efforts to achieve the best possible outcomes of the 5-year plan 2011-2015 and successfully organise the Party congresses at all levels and the 12th National Party Congress. We will continue to strive for fulfilling all tasks of national building and defence in the new phase stated in the Party’s political program and the Constitution.
Long live the spirit of 1975 Great Spring Victory
Long live the glorious Communist Party of Vietnam
Long live the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Great President Ho Chi Minh live forever in our cause
Finally, I wish all compatriots, comrades, and delegates health, happiness and success.
Thank you very much."