Three meetings were held within the framework of the seminar, as follows: the first discussed addressing clashes and sharing experiences in response to traditional and non-traditional security threats at sea; the second focused on maritime resources and sustainable development and the importance of law in protecting maritime environment and the relationship with green initiatives; the third emphasized the role of ASEAN and its partners in maintaining order at sea.

 Delegates at the seminar

Addressing the event, Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, Nguyen Vu Tung reviewed recent intense problems in the East Sea (South China Sea) which have caused considerable concerns to scholars, politicians and law makers in the world. Thus, it is necessary for all parties to respect the fundamental tenet of freedom of navigation. He gave an example of the decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration over a legal action of the Philippines against China’s aggressive activities in the East Sea.

Meanwhile, the British Ambassador to Vietnam, Giles Lever highlighted efforts of relevant parties in building the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), adding that the UK pledges to participate more in security and order at sea in the Asia-Pacific region.

In their speeches, delegates discussed the importance of international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982).

Dr Kentaro Nishimoto from Japan’s Tohoku University held that relevant countries have to deal with disputes at sea in order to secure peace and security in the region, while continuing to work together to find the most appropriate approaches to deal with these disputes.

Additionally, Clive Dow, Legal Consultant from the British Embassy to Vietnam, stressed that UNCLOS 1982 is a “senior” legal framework for sea-based economies as it provides an array of regulations on the environment, society and economics in managing seas and oceans.

Translated by Chung Anh