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Dialogue looks into sea-related issues from perspective of international law

The seventh dialogue with the theme of evaluating arising sea-related issues from the perspective of international law has recently been held virtually, drawing over 250 domestic and foreign experts, as well as delegates from foreign representative agencies in Hanoi and the media.

The event was jointly organised by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV), the British Embassy in Vietnam and the Kondras Adenauer Stiftung Foundation (KAS).

In his opening speech, Deputy Director of the DAV Dr. Nguyen Hung Son said the academy wants to promote dialogues on emerging legal issues to raise public awareness of and reach consensus on the interpretation and application of international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), thereby laying a foundation for marine cooperation activities in the region.

The organisers hoped that via the dialogue, parties will offer initiatives in line with international law to promote cooperation in the field, he said.

British Deputy Ambassador to Vietnam Marcus Winsley highlighted the 1982 UNCLOS as a foundation for ocean governance. The UK considers freedom of navigation as the most important as its trade with Asia relies on key marine routes in the region, he said.

The UK also shares the same concern with countries, especially Pacific island nations, over the sea level rise, the diplomat said.

Florian Constantin Feyerabend, from the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Foundation, affirmed that Germany always considers safety and freedom of maritime trade routes as common important benefits, supports rules-based order at sea and pledges to protect international law.

Participants at the event shared the impacts of the sea level rise on coastal nations in the region and the world. They underscored the importance of ensuring the stability of international law and suggested measures and scenarios to cope with the sea level rise from national, regional and international perspectives.

According to them, freedom, safety and security of navigation have been stipulated in important international conventions such as the 1982 UNCLOS and guidelines within the framework of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

Scholars expressed their interest in the East Sea and concerns over marine claims that run counter to the 1982 UNCLOS and the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)'s ruling on the Philippines' lawsuit in 2016.

They stressed need to continue maintaining rules-based order at sea in the Indo-Pacific and suggested ASEAN reach common consensus on rights to travelling at sea.

Via seven editions of the dialogue, the DAV published quality publications about fishing cooperation, marine governance in the East Sea, dealing with plastic wastes, enhancing ASEAN cooperation in the East Sea, and the European Union’s sustainable development experience./.