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Viet Nam calls for peace and stability across East Sea

Update: June, 14/2013 - 09:48
Vietnamese fishermen catch fish on the East Sea. Maintaining peace, security and co-operation for sustainable use and development of the East Sea is of exceptional importance to coastal states. — Photo

NEW YORK (VNS) — The maintenance of peace, security and co-operation for sustainable use and development of the East Sea on the basis of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is of exceptional importance to coastal states.

The statement was made by a Vietnamese representative at the 23rd meeting of State Parties to the UNCLOS which is taking place in New York from June 10-14.

Viet Nam's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Le Hoai Trung said most of the East Sea's coastal states, including Viet Nam, were developing countries and States Parties to the UNCLOS.

Income generated from the use and exploitation of the sea made important contributions to the economies of these coastal nations.

"Just like other regions of the world, in the East Sea, fishing is a traditional means of living for hundreds of millions of people, and many of them are from poor coastal communities," the ambassador said.

"Providing safe and stable conditions for fishermen when they go out to the sea to earn a living are the responsibilities of all governments," the ambassador stressed.

However, the Vietnamese diplomat noted that in recent years, the East Sea witnessed numerous incidents where fishermen, operating in their traditional fishing grounds which may fall within persistent disputes on territorial and maritime entitlement, were harassed, arrested or detained.

He called on coastal nations, pending solutions for territorial and maritime disputes, to seriously abide by the Convention's principles, including the negotiations for provisional arrangements for fishing activities to ensure the safety of fishermen.

"Conducting unilateral coercive actions, such as imposing fishing bans or using military or para-military ships to enforce the domestic laws in disputed areas will only further complicate the situation, in contravention of the purposes and principles of UNCLOS", said Trung.

The ambassador took the occasion to introduce Viet Nam's maritime law, which came into effect on January 1, 2013, affirming that its provisions were completely in line with the principles mentioned in the 1982 UNCLOS. — VNS

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