The workshop, in both online and offline forms, attracted the participation of over 120 delegates, including senior officials, researchers, legal experts, and representatives from the embassies of ASEAN member states and China in Vietnam and several international organizations.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung said that fishermen constitute the majority of sea-going persons in the East Sea and hold a special position in societies throughout ASEAN and also China.

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung addresses the workshop.

It is estimated that nearly 200 million people depend on fisheries resources of the East Sea for their livelihood, he said, adding that fishermen, however, remain vulnerable to danger or distress at sea.

He stressed the importance of promoting dialogue and cooperation between ASEAN and China in ensuring the just and humane treatment of fishermen, especially those who are in danger or distress.

This is not just a confidence building measure to implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC). Instead, this is a priority area of practical cooperation that should be promoted for the benefit of fishing communities and the people as a whole in the region, he said.

Participants emphasized the need for long-term support for fishermen, as most face a range of difficulties and challenges in the East Sea.

Many have said it is necessary to adopt an overall approach to ensuring the safety and humane treatment of fishermen, including building a set of tools to address this problem in the East Sea.

Source: VNA