When is the Anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords?

Year Date Day
2019 Oct 23 Wednesday
2020 Oct 23 Friday

The Anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords falls on October 23rd every year. The day was announced to be a public holiday in Cambodia by the government in late 2012.

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What are the Paris Peace Accords?

newspaper clipping announcing the Paris Peace Accord titled "Nixon Announces Peace Accord"

Newspaper clipping announcing the Paris Peace Accords

The Paris Peace Accords were officially named “Agreements on a Comprehensive Political Settlement of the Cambodia Conflict”. That’s quite a long name so we’ll stick to Paris Peace Accords.

The agreements were signed by a total of 19 governments on October 23, 1991, and pronounced the end of nearly two decades of civil war and the Cambodian – Vietnamese War. It returned peace to Cambodia by enforcing a cease-fire, disarming opposing political factions, and arranging free and fair elections.

The Paris Peace Accords called for preserving the Kingdom’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. Enshrined in the agreements was also respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cambodia.

The signing led to the first instance of the U.N. assuming control of a national government. It was also the first deployment of U.N. peacekeepers since the end of the Cold War. The peacekeepers were tasked with protecting human rights within Cambodia.

With the support of many governments, Cambodia gradually overcame the conflicts, even though fighting still continued for years.

Here are the four main agreements:

  1. Final Act of the Paris Conference on Cambodia
  2. Agreement on a Comprehensive Political Settlement of Cambodia with five annexes
  3. Agreement on Concerning the Sovereignty, Independence, Territorial Integrity, and Inviolability, Neutrality and National Unity of Cambodia
  4. Declaration on the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Cambodia

Watch the press conference that took place before the signing of the Paris Peace Accords.

What Happens During the Anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords?

Seeing as the anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords is a public holiday, most Khmer people have the day off of work. This is a great opportunity to get outside and appreciate Cambodia’s natural beauty along with locals.

You can also read more about the agreements here.

What should you do during the Anniversary of the Paris Peace Accord?

If you’re in Phnom Penh, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in the main festival. This will include political speeches, cultural events, and fireworks. Ask your Khmer friends how they interpret the Paris Peace Accords.

Another great way to spend this public holiday in Cambodia is by learning about the developments that led to the signing of the peace agreement. Read about the wars, visit the Killing Fields, and spend some time at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

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