1954 Geneva ConferenceGeneva, Switzerland
The Geneva Conference, intended to settle outstanding issues resulting from the Korean War and the First Indochina War, was a conference involving several nations that took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 26 April to 20 July 1954. The Geneva Accords that dealt with the dismantling of French Indochina proved to have long-lasting repercussions. The crumbling of the French colonial empire in Southeast Asia led to the formation of the states of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam), the State of Vietnam (the future Republic of Vietnam, South Vietnam), the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Kingdom of Laos. The Accords were between France, the Viet Minh, the USSR, the PRC, the United States, the United Kingdom and the future states being made from French Indochina. The agreement temporarily separated Vietnam into two zones, a northern zone to be governed by the Viet Minh and a southern zone to be governed by the State of Vietnam, then headed by former emperor Bảo Đại. A Conference Final Declaration, issued by the British chairman of the conference, provided that a general election be held by July 1956 to create a unified Vietnamese state. Despite helping create some of the agreements, they were not directly signed onto nor accepted by delegates of both the State of Vietnam and the United States. The State of Vietnam, under Ngo Dinh Diem, subsequently refused to allow elections, leading to the Vietnam War. Three separate ceasefire accords, covering Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, were signed at the conference.