East Sea Symposium Emphasizes Peace Maintenance for Post-Pandemic Recovery

Nearly 500 delegates are physically and virtually attending an international symposium on the South China Sea, known as the East Sea in Vietnam, which opened in Da Nang city, central Vietnam, on November 16.
Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Hieu speaks at the symposium. (Photo: VNA)
Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Hieu speaks at the symposium. (Photo: VNA)

The two-day symposium, the 14th of its kind, has brought together approximately 40 speakers from 20 countries and territories, and nearly 50 representatives of foreign countries in Vietnam. Correspondents from 25 local and foreign news agencies have registered to give coverage of the event.

In his opening remarks, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Hieu pointed out recent dramatic changes in the region and the wider world, saying global geopolitical risks and competition between major powers have exacerbated existing problems such as energy security, food security, inflation and recession, posing a big threat to peace and stability. These are multidimensional and multi-layered challenges that are difficult to identify, he stressed.

The Deputy Minister partly attributed the problem to the lack of trust and cooperation, especially in observation of international law and multilateral principles, noting failure to strictly adhere to the basic principles of international law can gradually erode the international order.

According to the diplomat, it is necessary for international organisations to continue to adhere to rules, maintain cooperation and build up trust to stand the test of time. Countries, especially influential powers, need to take greater responsibility in their behaviour to ensure peace, stability and development.

He affirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy on the East Sea that is to fully respect and comply with the provisions of international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and settle disputes by peaceful means, in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations, in order to promote maritime cooperation.

Vietnam attaches great importance to the sustainable use and conservation of oceans, seas and marine resources, the official stressed, adding maintaining peace at sea is the prerequisite for sustainable recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Foreign delegates share views at the symposium. (Photo: VNA)
Foreign delegates share views at the symposium. (Photo: VNA)

The Deputy Minister suggested that the international community put forward creative solutions to improve transparency and promote strategic trust between stakeholders.

It is necessary to take specific actions to maintain political stability and economic recovery, and take initiatives to promote multilateralism, especially the central role of ASEAN, he said.

Dr. Pham Lan Dung, acting director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam that hosts the symposium, said in the context of the global complications, the Da Nang gathering aims to examine the impact of new global geopolitical changes on the East Sea, identify potential risks and seek to restore trust, promote dialogue and cooperation.

This year’s symposium marks 40 years of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and 20 years of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) signed between ASEAN and China.

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