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Vietnam co-hosts seminar on UNCLOS’s outcomes

Vietnam co-hosts seminar on UNCLOS’s outcomes

Vietnam, in coordination with Greece, Egypt and Senegal, on December 8 hosted a workshop on achievements and challenges since the adoption of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 40 years ago.

Main topics at the event were the outcomes of the convention, sea level rise and the relationship between UNCLOS and Sustainable Development Goal 14, which is to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Addressing the workshop, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Counsel, Miguel de Serpa Soares, emphasised that the ratification of the convention was a historic milestone of the consensus among nations to develop a comprehensive legal framework for activities at sea.

He also highlighted the major challenges relating to the implementation of the convention, such as conservation and sustainable use of the sea.

Countries should pay more attention to the rights of vulnerable people and those whose livelihoods depend on the ocean, and at the same time strengthen international cooperation, build capacity, improve ocean governance and attract the participation of small and less developed island states at sea forums, the diplomat said. 

Prof. Nguyen Hong Thao, a member of the UN’s International Law Commission, spoke about the integrity of the 1982 UNCLOS in the face of "unforeseeable" issues when the convention was born, including sea level rise. According to the professor, it can be seen in reality that all countries seek to handle many of the ocean issues within the current legal framework provided for by UNCLOS, instead of building regulations outside the convention.  

Discussions at the workshop focused on difficulties of developing countries in maritime boundary delimitation, counseling function of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and some emerging issues related to the law of the sea and maritime governance.

In his concluding speech at the end of the workshop, Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, Head of the Permanent Delegation of Vietnam to the United Nations, who chaired the workshop, reaffirmed countries' commitment to the universal goals and principles set forth in the UNCLOS and expressed his wish to cooperate with other members to promote the convention's role in addressing common challenges, maintaining peace, stability, cooperation and sustainable development for the interests of present and future generations./.