Fifth ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Implementing UNCLOS 1982
|At the event.|
Following the success of four conferences on the same topic held since 2019 in Hanoi, this event in hybrid meeting attracted about 150 delegates from 27 ARF member countries, regional and international organizations, diplomatic representative agencies, research institutes, experts, prestigious scholars, and ministries and branches.
At the conference, delegates discussed ways to cooperate and solve challenges in marine management in the region, based on the application and implementation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and relevant international legal instruments.
In the opening remarks, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Do Hung Viet emphasized the essential role of the seas and oceans in human life and in sustainable development. In the context that the world and the region are facing more and more challenges, he once again affirmed the extremely important role of UNCLOS 1982 - the constitution of the seas and oceans.
The Deputy Minister said that territorial disputes, strategic competition, on-site tensions as well as climate change, sea level rise and unsustainable exploitation of seas and oceans put the South China Sea, an area of strategic and economic importance, at risk of many threats to peace, security and stability, particularly maritime security and safety of the region.
On the other hand, he went on, UNCLOS continues to demonstrate its irreplaceable role in resolving issues and disputes at sea, serving as a solid foundation for continuing to develop an international legal framework to address emerging challenges.
This is demonstrated by significant events such as: completing negotiations on the Agreement of Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ), or some countries consulting and participating in the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), as well as the negotiation process of the Convention on Plastic Pollution, including ocean plastic pollution.
|Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Do Hung Viet.|
Deputy Minister Do Hung Viet said that more than ever, countries can only find solutions to maritime problems in the region through promoting cooperation, and by fully respecting and implementing UNCLOS. The workshop is an opportunity to affirm that UNCLOS 1982 continues to stand strong, and is an important basis for countries in the region to increase trust and promote cooperation for peace, security, and prosperity. He also emphasized that all disputes and issues related to seas and oceans in the region need to be resolved by peaceful solutions, in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS 1982.
Co-chairing the workshop, Canadian Ambassador Shawn Steil, Australian Deputy Ambassador Mark Tattersall, New Zealand Ambassador Tredene Dobson, and Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam all emphasized the important role and value of the UNCLOS.
Canadian Ambassador Shawn Steil expressed concern about happenings in the South China Sea as well as new issues constantly arising at sea. He encouraged international cooperation activities, sharing experiences, and improving capacity in related issues.
New Zealand Ambassador Tredene Dobson emphasized the significance of UNCLOS in ensuring common prosperity, security, and stability of the Pacific-Indian Ocean region.
Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam affirmed the importance of maritime in global economic development, along with maritime security and safety in the South China Sea, hoping that relevant countries will soon approve the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) practically and effectively, in accordance with international law and takes into account the legitimate interests of third parties.
At the workshop, participants discussed the regulation scale of the UNCLOS 1982 and relevant legal instruments, and conventional and emerging challenges in implementing the UNCLOS 1982.
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