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Seminar in Moscow seeks peaceful solutions to East Sea disputes

Scholars, lawyers and experts from Russia, the US, the Philippines, Japan, Pakistan and Vietnam gathered at an international seminar in Moscow on June 27 to seek peaceful resolutions to the East Sea issue.

This was the second event of its kind held by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) and the International Fund-The Way for Peace.

Having heard 11 scientific reports on the East Sea disputes, the participants agreed that the militarisation of the East Sea not only threatens regional peace and security but also affects freedom of international aviation and navigation as well as the marine ecology.

They suggested building an effective marine crisis management system, de-militarising occupied entities, promoting fishing cooperation, and mobilising every peaceful means to tackle disputes based on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS) and the arbitrary ruling in 2016.

Director of the International Fund-The Way for Peace Irina Umnova said social organisations and experts play an important role in shaping a world of peace.

She highlighted Vietnam’s contributions to the seminar, expressing her belief that the Vietnam-Russia cooperation will help tackle the East Sea issue.

Meanwhile, IADL President Jeanne Ellen Mirer said the association has called involved parties to settle the East Sea disputes by peaceful means, and it will keep a close watch on the situation to ensure regional stability, peace and security.

As a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea is being developed, relevant sides must end illegal construction of artificial islands in the waters, and other militarising activities that escalate tensions.

They must respect the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and build a legally binding COC based on the UNCLOS 1982.

Members of the IADL will follow the East Sea situation and employ timely actions to stabilise the region, she added.

Responding to the Vietnam News Agency correspondent’s queries, Deputy Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam’s Bien Dong (East Sea) Institute for Maritime Studies To Anh Tuan spoke highly of the international seminar where he said Vietnam had the opportunity to give official and exact information about the East Sea situation to international friends.

Vietnam’s stance to address the issue was also highlighted, which focuses on not using or threatening to use violence; promoting dialogue and cooperation based on mutual respect of each other’s independence, sovereignty, and legitimate rights; taking multilateral mechanisms like ASEAN to build trust and prevent disputes; and abiding by international law especially the UNCLOS 1982 to resolve disputes in the waters, he said.