Circumstances Surrounding the First Contact between Vietnam and Canada 1954-1956

By: Vinh-The Lam


The first contact between Canada and Vietnam occurred in 1954 in very special circumstances. Canada, as the most respected middle power with a good reputation by its participation in many peace-keeping missions, was invited to participate in the International Commission for Control and Supervision (ICCS) created by the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities in Vietnam signed in Geneva, Switzerland on 20 July 1954. Vietnam was in the darkest period of its history with its territory divided and close to one million displaced persons moving from the North to the South. After retracing the backgrounds of both nations and describing the structure of the ICCS, this paper discusses the role played by Canada in the ICCS and its relations with the Government of South Vietnam.