A cargo ship waits to dock at port to load the goods. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam agreed on the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability in the region, especially compliance with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as well as marine protection, to ensure economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the virtual conference for the 11th ASEAN Maritime Forum (AMF) and the 9th Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF) which began on Tuesday, Vũ Hồ, director of the Foreign Ministry’s ASEAN Department, emphasised the responsibility and goodwill of member countries in implementing the commitment to maintaining peace and security in the region.
At the AMF, ASEAN countries spoke highly of the AMF's role in promoting dialogue, building common awareness and strengthening policy-oriented research.
With the multi-faceted and multidisciplinary nature of maritime issues, the AMF has made an important contribution to improving the efficiency of coordination among 12 ASEAN specialised agencies on maritime cooperation.
The countries welcomed the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on the Blue Economy, which was adopted at the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits on October 26. The declaration would form a common ASEAN awareness on economic cooperation and identify potential areas of cooperation within ASEAN community and between ASEAN and its partners, including marine environmental protection, marine littering, illegal fishing, and maritime security and safety.
As a co-chair of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) on Maritime Security for the 2018-2021 period, Việt Nam briefed attendees on achievements made, updated the implementation of the ARF work plan on maritime security as well as shared expectations on maritime security cooperation.
Also at the conference, ASEAN countries said EAMF played an important role in promoting dialogue, building trust, following a multilateral approach in dealing with common challenges as well as sharing information.
The delegates shared concerns about many challenges such as marine environmental degradation, piracy, terrorism, smuggling, human trafficking, climate change and natural disasters.
In the context of promoting economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, many delegates emphasised the importance of maritime connectivity and transportation, ensuring the maintenance of regional and global supply chains.
They highlighted the compliance with international law and UNCLOS 1982 and called for peaceful settlement of disputes on the basis of international law and the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), the development of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) in accordance with international law.
The forum also noted the year 2022 as an important milestone marking the 40th anniversary of the 1982 UNCLOS and the 20th anniversary of the DOC.
Hồ, as head of the Vietnamese delegation, said Việt Nam reaffirmed its principled stance and emphasised the interests and responsibilities of countries in striving to build the East Sea (South China Sea) into a sea of peace, cooperation and stability.
The 11th ASEAN Maritime Forum and 9th EAMF was chaired by Brunei and took place over two days. – VNS