Emeritus Professor Carl Thayer at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) at the Australian Defense Force Academy told the Vietnam News Agency on the sidelines of the conference that Vietnam has tailored the conferences increasingly to focus on issues of concern to the international community, and the conferences help participants learn more and go deeper into various issues in the waters.

Emeritus Professor Carl Thayer

Meanwhile, Professor Rober Beckman from the National University of Singapore’s Centre for International Law described the conference as useful and interesting with a lot of important discussions held.

Delegates, especially those from Europe and outside Southeast Asia, all want to gain better understanding about the difficulties and challenges with respect to the East Sea dispute.

With a view to illuminating the grey zone and lighting up the blue, he said it will be useful to continue to have discussions about the grey zone, and have people analyze not only what’s happening in Southeast Asia, but also what’s happening in other parts of Asia.

Earlier, in his opening remarks at the conference, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Do Hung Viet said the East Sea Conference series has provided an open, candid, friendly environment for regional and international experts to come together to advance mutual understanding, and narrow differences.

The official said he hopes that in the next 15 years, the dialogue will further evolve into a key region-wide maritime security forum, one that is open, inclusive and innovative in nature, a meeting point and hub of interests spanning from the “Indo” to the “Pacific” and beyond.

The conference has contributed to promoting transparency, building a network of experts, and creating a platform to discuss regional issues.

Only maritime cooperation can help countries change the East Sea from grey to blue towards peace and sustainable development, he said, adding it is necessary to strictly follow international laws, including U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.

Source: VNA