Phạm Văn Đồng ( listen; 1 March 1906 – 29 April 2000) was a Vietnamese politician who served as Prime Minister of North Vietnam from 1955 to 1976 and, following unification, as Prime Minister of Vietnam from 1976 until he retired in 1987 under the rule of Lê Duẩn and Nguyễn Văn Linh. He was considered one of Hồ Chí Minh's closest lieutenants.
|Phạm Văn Đồng|
Pham Van Dong in 1972
|Chairman of the Council of Ministers|
2 July 1976 – 18 June 1987
|Preceded by||Post established|
|Succeeded by||Phạm Hùng|
|Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam|
20 September 1955 – 2 July 1976
|Preceded by||Hồ Chí Minh|
|Succeeded by||Post abolished|
|Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam|
25 June 1947 – 20 September 1955
|Member of the Politburo|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
April 1954 – February 1961
|Minister of Finance|
16 August 1945 – March 1946
1 March 1906|
Đức Tân village, Mộ Đức district, in Quảng Ngãi Province, Indochina
29 April 2000 (aged 94)|
|Political party||Communist Party of Vietnam|
|Awards||Gold Star Order|
According to an official report, Dong was born into a family of civil servants in Đức Tân village, Mộ Đức district, in Quang Ngai province on the central coast on 1 March 1906.
In 1925 at the age of 18, he joined fellow students to stage a school sit-in to mourn the death of the famous patriotic scholar Phan Chu Trinh. About this time he developed an interest in the Communist party and in the unification of Vietnam. In 1926, he traveled to Guangzhou in southern China to attend a training course run by Nguyen Ai Quoc (later to be known as Ho Chi Minh), before being admitted as a member of the Vietnam Revolutionary Youth Association, the predecessor of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV).
In 1929, he worked for the revolutionary association in Saigon. In the same year, he was arrested, tried by the French colonial authorities and sentenced to ten years in prison. He served the term in Poulo Condor Island Prison until 1936 when he was released under the general amnesty granted by the government of the Popular Front in France after its recent electoral successes.
In 1936, he was released from prison, operating in Hanoi. In 1940, he secretly went to China with Vo Nguyen Giap, joined the Indochinese Communist Party and was tasked by Ho Chi Minh to build a base at the Vietnam-China border.
In 1945, at the National People's Congress of Tân Trào, he was elected to the Standing Committee of 5 members of the National Committee for the Liberation, preparing for the August Revolution.
Phạm Văn Đồng joined the Indochinese Communist Party in 1940 and then continued to take part in activities led by Ho Chi Minh. After Ho Chi Minh rose to power during the August Revolution in 1945, Pham Van Dong was appointed minister of finance of the newly established government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), a position he occupied until 1954. Before he assumed the position of Minister of Finance, On May 31, 1946, he was the head of the delegation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam at Fontainebleau (France) instead of Nguyen Tuong Tam who did not undertake the task, seeking an independent solution for Indochina. However, the conference failed because France did not give a definite answer to the deadline for the referendum in Cochinchina.
The first Indochina War erupted and Phạm Văn Đồng was appointed as the Special Envoy of the Central Committee of the Party and Government in South Central Vietnam. In 1947, he was elected as alternate member of the Central Committee of Indochinese Communist Party (official commissioner since 1949). From July 1949, he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister.
In 1954, Phạm Văn Đồng was appointed Head of the Government delegation to the Geneva Conference on Indochina. The contribution of the Vietnamese delegation led by him was extremely important, creating breakthroughs that brought the Conference to success. Throughout the 8 plenary sessions and 23 very tense and complex sessions, with the spirit of initiative and efforts of the Vietnamese delegation, on July 20, 1954, the agreement was suspended in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos have been recognized for respecting the independence and sovereignty of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
In September 1954, Phạm Văn Đồng served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Head of Foreign Affairs of the Central Party. From September 1955 he was the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and since 1976 has been the Prime Minister of Vietnam, the Vice President of the National Defense Council until his retirement in 1987. He was a member of the National Assembly from 1946 to 1987.
Following the defeat of Japan, nationalist forces fought French colonial forces in the First Indochina War that lasted from 1945 to 1954. The French suffered a major defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and peace was sought. In May 1954, he led the delegation of the Ho Chi Minh government to the Geneva Conference. After intense negotiations a peace treaty was signed and the French forces withdrew from direct conflict with the newly-independent North Vietnam. He signed the peace accords with French Premier Pierre Mendès France.
During 1954 he served as Vice-Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs. At the 5th session of the DRV First National Assembly convocation (1955), Dong was appointed as Prime Minister. He is well known for being one of the leaders of North Vietnam during the war with the United States. He was known to have close links with the Chinese government, which helped fund the conflict with South Vietnam. He was also one of the figures involved in peace talks to end the conflict under the administrations of Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon.
In general, Pham Van Dong was considered a staunch communist and a great nationalist leader, one of the most faithful disciples of Ho Chi Minh and a major figure in Vietnam's fight for independence and unity. He was known as a politician who tried to maintain a neutral position in the various conflicts within the party, particularly after the unification of Vietnam in 1975.
Although retired from public office, he served as an Adviser to the Party Central Committee from December 1986 to 1997. He often urged the party to make greater efforts to stop corruption, which is still a widespread problem in Vietnam today. He gave advice on similar issues, even after his term as an adviser to the Central Committee had ended.
As he became older, his vision deteriorated, and he was blind for the last 10 years of his life. After several months of illness, he died in Hanoi on 29 April 2000, at the age of 94. His death was announced by the Vietnamese Communist Party and the Vietnamese government a week later on 2 May. Commemoration and funeral services were held on 6 May 2000, in Hanoi.
Ho Chi Minh
| Prime Minister of North Vietnam
Himself as Prime Minister of Vietnam
Vũ Văn Mẫu – Prime Minister of South Vietnam and Nguyễn Hữu Thọ – Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam and himself as Prime Minister of North Vietnam
| Prime Minister of Vietnam