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ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop looks at UNCLOS

Released at: 15:13, 14/11/2019

ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop looks at UNCLOS

Photo: European Union in Viet Nam

November 13-14 workshop in Hanoi focusing on implementing UN law on the sea.

by Jessica Nguyen

The 2nd ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop is taking place on November 13 and 14 in Hanoi, with the theme “UNCLOS and Other International Instruments to Address Emerging Maritime Issues”.

EU Ambassador in Vietnam, H.E. Giorgio Aliberti, together with Canadian Ambassador in Vietnam, H.E. Deborah Paul, and Director General of the International Law and Treaties Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Le Thi Tuyet Mai, co-chaired the workshop, which attracted over 100 marine management officials, experts, and scholars from the 27 members of the ASEAN Regional Forum.

The two-day workshop focuses on maritime security challenges in the region, the sustainable management and conservation of maritime resources, climate change, the law of the sea, environmental protection, and international and regional cooperation.

In their opening remarks, Ambassador Aliberti, Ambassador Paul, and Dr. Mai affirmed the important role of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in managing the activities of nations in oceans during the past 25 years.

According to Ambassador Aliberti, the workshop is an opportunity to reiterate the EU’s strong commitment to further promoting a rules-based regional and international order through multilateral cooperation as well as closer cooperation with third parties.

UNCLOS is not only an important legal tool to regulate maritime issues, ensuring the legitimate rights and interests of nations in marine exploitation, but also an important framework for States to resolve disputes and enhance maritime cooperation. On the basis of UNCLOS, a number of cooperation initiatives have been proposed and promoted between ASEAN countries and between ASEAN and dialogue partners in response to maritime security challenges.

The workshop consists of four sessions, focusing on traditional maritime security challenges in the region, such as sovereignty disputes and maritime delimitation, law enforcement on the sea; UNCLOS and issues arising in the process of conserving and sustainably using marine resources, including marine pollution, deep sea exploitation, conservation and the sustainable use of marine biodiversity outside areas under national jurisdiction and illegal fishing activities; climate change and UNCLOS - impacts and possible solutions, including global challenges such as rising sea levels and ocean acidification affecting coral reefs, and ways to cope with climate change in regional scale; and international and regional cooperation - initiatives and solutions for the future, enhancing interaction between regional agreements and UNCLOS in environmental protection and conservation, bolstering coordination and interaction between ASEAN maritime forums and mechanisms, and multilateral maritime security cooperation.

The ASEAN Regional Forum was established in 1994 with the main objective of building trust and strengthening regional dialogue with ASEAN as the center. Twenty-seven countries and territories and international organizations are members, and Vietnam is one of the founding members.

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