PANO – The Vietnam Marine Police Force would be equipped with modern facilities to carry out effectively their tasks to maintain security, order and safety in the national waters and exclusive economic zone with the close cooperation with regional coast guards of regional countries, said Lieutenant-General Pham Duc Linh, General Director of the Vietnam Marine Police Force, at an interview with the press in the margin of the HACGAM – 7.
|Lieutenant-General Pham Duc Linh at the interview with the press
Asked to comment on the meaning of the 7th Heads of Asia Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM -7), Lieutenant-General Linh said this is the first time Vietnam hosted HACGAM. At the event this year , all regional coast guard agencies worked together for solutions to ensuring security, combating piracy , rescue and other activities to settle incidental problems at sea. Participants also exchanged experiences on force building-up and on increasing effective information sharing.
Concerning progresses on the regional cooperation of marine police forces, Lieutenant-General Linh pointed out that so far they have conducted online information processing drills and in his speech delivered at the opening ceremony, he had recommended that in upcoming time, the regional countries’ marine police forces would conduct real field drills at sea in exchanging information on rescue activities, sea environmental problems, anti-piracy and drug smuggling.
Regarding the future cooperation between Vietnam Marine Police Force and its regional counterparts to implement the initiative “mutual cooperation for capacity building” reached at this 7th HACGAM, Lieutenant-General Linh said at present, Vietnam has little experience in educating and training marine police force’s staff. Most of them are former troops of the Navy and other army units. Vietnam will send staffs to military universities as well as to foreign countries, including the U.S, Japan and Singapore for further training.
The Lieutenant-General also told reporter the difficulties confronting the Asian Coast Guard Agencies, including Vietnamese marine police due to the sophisticated situation at sea including piracy, smuggling, human trafficking and natural disasters like recent serious earthquakes and tsunami in Japan. All these require more effective cooperation among regional countries marine police forces.
On the subject of the establishment of a hot-line between the Vietnam Marine Police Force and the Philippines Coast Guard, Lieutenant-General Linh said that the bilateral agreement was on October 26th, and the Marine Police Force of Vietnam and the Philippines would soon work on detailed regulations on information sharing. The hot line aims to help two nations’ coast guards exchange information timely and deal effectively with problems at sea to protect both Vietnamese and Filipino fishermen.
Lieutenant-General Linh further said participants at the 7th HACGAM agreed that fishermen or any citizen of regional countries either intentionally of unintentionally violate laws, would be settled by laws of individual country but basing on the principles of peaceful negotiations in the respect of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the UN Charter and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. All countries are committed not to use force or menace foreign fishermen or treat the law-offenders of each other badly.
Asked about how Vietnam Marine Police Force could fulfill their assigned tasks in upcoming time, Lieutenant-General Linh affirmed that the Government has planned to invest in upgrading facilities for the force including modern ships which can operate in bad weather and stay long at sea. Furthermore, the force is also equipped with helicopters to enhance its operations at the border of continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of Vietnam to protect the territorial waters and fishermen as well
Lieutenant-General Linh pointed out that the biggest difficulty confronting the Vietnam Marine Police Force at present is the lack of modern facilities to operate in bad weather conditions, especially in cyclones and lack of human resources. However, it is not alone as it has been cooperating with the Navy and Border Guard to protect the national sovereignty at sea and over off-shore islands. The Marine Police Force has been working very hard to fulfill its assigned tasks.
The 7th Heads of Asia Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM - 7) with the theme “Strengthening practical cooperation, swapping information, and ensuring marine security and safety” opened in Hanoi between October 25th and 28th with participation of delegations from 17 Asian countries and territories.
Translated by Van Hieu