Please note this event series took place over two days, October 11 and 12, from 9:00am - 10:30 am. The series was livestreamed in both English and Vietnamese.

The process of postwar reconciliation between the United States, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia is one of the most remarkable stories of the 21st century. The legacies of U.S. military involvement in Southeast Asia, once a major obstacle to normal relations, have gradually become the basis for a closer partnership. Over the past few decades, humanitarian cooperation among governments — supported by efforts from civil society, including veterans’ organizations — has assisted the identification of the remains of missing personnel and helped to address the impacts of Agent Orange and unexploded ordnance. Meanwhile, people-to-people exchanges have fostered connectivity and built trust between our societies.

Day One (Tiếng Anh / Tiếng Việt)

In this keynote luncheon presentation at USIP on October 11, 2022, former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel offers a provocative view of lessons from the postwar rebuilding of U.S.-Vietnam relations and implications for global peace and security. The video is in English with Vietnamese subtitles.

Day Two (Tiếng Anh / Tiếng Việt)

Yet nearly 50 years following the end of the war, more work is needed. USIP’s Vietnam War Legacies and Reconciliation Initiative aims to further advance reconciliation through people-to-people engagement; to build and sustain U.S. support for addressing the war’s legacies and MIA accounting in the coming decades; and to highlight stories of reconciliation as evidence that peace is possible and practical.

In pursuit of those aims, USIP hosted a two-part livestream of USIP’s Dialogue on War Legacies and Peace. The event brought together diplomats, advocates and authors to draw lessons from U.S. engagement in Southeast Asia that could apply to conflicts elsewhere in the world. The inspiring presentations looked at how Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians are healing from wartime suffering and building a future based on trust and shared interests.

Continue the conversation on Twitter using #WarLegaciesAndPeace


October 11: Healing the Wounds of War

  • Lise Grande, Opening Remarks
    President and CEO, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Michael Schiffer
    Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Asia, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Tôn Nữ Thị Ninh
    President, Ho Chi Minh City Peace and Development Foundation
  • Jed Royal
    Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Loung Ung
    Author, “First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers”
  • Sera Koulabdara
    Executive Director, Legacies of War
  • Brian Harding, moderator
    Senior Expert, Southeast Asia, U.S. Institute of Peace

October 12: The Future of U.S. Relations with Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia

  • Ambassador Marc Knapper
    U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam 
  • Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins
    Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, U.S. Department of State
  • Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh 
    President, Vietnam-USA Society
  • Brian Eyler
    Director, Southeast Asia Program, Stimson Center
  • Vu Ha Phuong
    Research Fellow, Otago University, New Zealand
  • Vikram Singh, moderator 
    Senior Advisor, Asia Program, U.S. Institute of Peace

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