Lyndon B. Johnson photo

The Declaration of Honolulu.

February 08, 1966


The Republic of Vietnam and the United States of America jointly declare:

--their determination in defense against aggression,

--their dedication to the hopes of all the people of South Vietnam, and

--their commitment to the search for just and stable peace. In pursuit of these objectives the leaders of their Governments have agreed upon this Declaration, which sets forth:

--the purposes of the Government of Vietnam,

--the purposes of the Government of the United States, and

--the common commitment of both Governments.


Here in the mid-Pacific, halfway between Asia and North America, we take the opportunity to state again the aims of our Government.

We are a Government--indeed a generation-of revolutionary transformation. Our people are caught up in a mortal struggle. This struggle has four sides.

1. We must defeat the Vietcong and those illegally fighting with them on our soil. We are the victims of an aggression directed and supported from Hanoi. That aggression-that so-called "war of national liberation"--is part of the Communist plan for the conquest of all of southeast Asia. The defeat of that aggression is vital for the future of our people of South Vietnam.

2. We are dedicated to the eradication of social injustice among our people. We must bring about a true social revolution and construct a modern society in which every man can know that he has a future; that he has respect and dignity; that he has the opportunity for himself and for his children to live in an environment where all is not disappointment, despair, and dejection; that the opportunities exist for the full expression of his talents and his hopes.

3. We must establish and maintain a stable, viable economy and build a better material life for our people. In spite of the war, which creates many unusual and unpredictable economic situations, we are determined to continue with a policy of austerity; to make the best possible use of the assistance granted us from abroad; and to help our people achieve regular economic growth and improved material welfare.

4. We must build true democracy for our land and for our people. In this effort we shall continue to imbue the people with a sense of national unity, a stronger commitment to civic responsibility. We shall encourage a widened and more active participation in and contribution to the building of a free, independent, strong, and peaceful Vietnam. In particular, we pledge again:

--to formulate a democratic constitution in the months ahead, including an electoral law;

--to take that constitution to our people

for discussion and modification;

--to seek its ratification by secret ballot;

--to create, on the basis of elections rooted in that constitution, an elected government.

These things shall be accomplished mainly with the blood, intelligence, and dedication of the Vietnamese people themselves. But in this interdependent world we shall need the help of others: to win the war of independence; to build while we fight; to reconstruct and develop our nation when terror ceases.

To those future citizens of a free, democratic South Vietnam now fighting with the Vietcong, we take this occasion to say come and join in this national revolutionary adventure:

--come safely to join us through the Open Arms Program

--stop killing your brothers, sisters, their elders, and their children

--come and work through constitutional democracy to build together that life of dignity, freedom, and peace those in the North would deny the people of Vietnam.

Thus, we are fighting this war. It is a military war, a war for the hearts of our people. We cannot win one without winning the other. But the war for the hearts of the people is more than a military tactic. It is a moral principle. For this we shall strive as we fight to bring about a true social revolution.


(1) The United States of America is joined with the people and Government of Vietnam to prevent aggression. This is the purpose of the determined effort of the American armed forces now engaged in Vietnam. The United States seeks no bases. It seeks no colonial presence. It seeks to impose no alliance or alignment. It seeks only to prevent aggression, and its pledge to that purpose is firm. It aims simply to help a people and Government who are determined to help themselves.

(2) The United States is pledged to the principles of the self-determination of peoples, and of government by the consent of the governed. It therefore gives its full support to the purpose of free elections proclaimed by the Government of South Vietnam and to the principle of open arms and amnesty for all who turn from terror toward peace and rural construction. The United States will give its full support to measures of social revolution including land reform based upon the principle of building upward from the hopes and purposes of all the people of Vietnam.

(3) Just as the United States is pledged to play its full part in the worldwide attack upon hunger, ignorance, and disease, so in Vietnam it will give special support to the work of the people of that country to build even while they fight. We have helped and we will help them--to stabilize the economy-to increase the production of food-to spread the light of education--to stamp out disease.

(4) The purpose of the United States remains a purpose of peace. The United States Government and the Government of Vietnam will continue in the future, as they have in the past, to press the quest for a peaceful settlement in every forum. The world knows the harsh and negative response these efforts have thus far received. But the world should know, too, that the United States Government and the Government of Vietnam remain determined that no path to peace shall be unexplored. Within the framework of their international commitments, the United States and Vietnam aim to create with others a stable peace in southeast Asia which will permit the governments and peoples of the region to devote themselves to lifting the condition of man. With the understanding and support of the Government of Vietnam, the peace offensive of the United States Government and the Government of South Vietnam will continue until peace is secured.


The President of the United States and the Chief of State and Prime Minister of the Republic of Vietnam are thus pledged again:

--to defense against aggression,

--to the work of social revolution,

--to the goal of free self-government,

--to the attack on hunger, ignorance, and disease, and

--to the unending quest for peace.

Note: The text of the Declaration was released at Honolulu, Hawaii.
See also Items 53, 54, 56.

Lyndon B. Johnson, The Declaration of Honolulu. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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