The hybrid ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) workshop, co-organized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the E.U., Australia and New Zealand, brought together about 200 representatives from 27 ARF member countries, regional and international organizations, diplomatic offices, research institutes, ministries and agencies.

At the workshop

In his opening remarks, Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu reiterated the significance of the UNCLOS 1982, especially in the context of emerging challenges to the settlement of maritime issues, requiring intensive and extensive international cooperation.

The UNCLOS 1982 is an important basis for countries in the region to enhance trust and cooperation, for peace, security and prosperity, he stressed, adding that all disputes and maritime issues should be addressed by peaceful measures in line with international law, including the Convention.

Vu viewed the workshop as a demonstration of regional commitment to international cooperation to cope with the challenges.

Thomas Wiersing, deputy head of the E.U. Delegation to Vietnam, emphasized the leading role of ASEAN in promoting peace and stability in the region, affirming the E.U.’s support for the early completion of a substantive and legally-binding Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea (South China Sea internationally).

Chargé d'affaires of the Australian Embassy in Hanoi Mark Tattersall spoke highly of the ARF’s role in security and cooperation dialogues in Indo-Pacific.

Delegates shared the view that the UNCLOS 1982 is the most crucial legal tool to maintain peace and stability in the region, creating a framework to push ahead with the settlement of both traditional and emerging maritime issues in the region.

Source: VNA