International Agreement on the Neutrality of Laos
The International Agreement on the Neutrality of Laos is an international agreement signed in Geneva on July 23, 1962 between 14 states and Laos. It was a result of the International Conference on the Settlement of the Laotian Question which lasted from May 16, 1961 to July 23, 1962.
Burma, Cambodia, Canada, the People's Republic of China, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, France, India, Poland, the Republic of Vietnam, Thailand, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States signed a Declaration which together with the statement of neutrality by the Royal Government of Laos of July 9, 1962, entered into force as an international agreement on the date of signature July 23, 1962.
The 14 signatories pledged to respect Laotian neutrality, to refrain from interference — direct or indirect — in the internal affairs of Laos, and to refrain from drawing Laos into military alliance or to establish military bases in Laotian territory. The Laotian government pledged to promulgate constitutionally its commitments which would have the force of law.
However, the agreement was violated in when the Democratic Republic of Vietnam established a supply line through "neutral" Laotian territory for supplying the Viet Cong insurgency against the government of South Vietnam.
More specifically, during the Second Indochina War the North Vietnamese obtained the cooperation of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (Pathet Lao) in constructing and maintaining the Ho Chi Minh Trail which passed through the length of Laos. Thousands of Vietnamese troops were stationed in Laos to maintain the road network and provide for its security. Vietnamese military personnel also fought beside the Pathet Lao in its struggle to overthrow Laos' neutralist government. Cooperation persisted after the war and the Lao communist victory.
- Taipei Times, Wednesday, Mar 30, 2005, Page 8
- The Hindu of Wednesday, Dec 24, 2003
- Working Paper Sites of Political Science
- Declaration on the Neutrality of Laos. Signed at Geneva, on 23 July 1962