30th meeting of state parties to 1982 UNCLOS wraps up

December 10, 2020 - 10:23

Regarding the South China Sea situation, Vietnamese ambassador reiterated Việt Nam’s consistent stance that all disputes must be settled by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS


A view of the meeting on UNCLOS held at UN headquarter in New York, US. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — The plenary and closing session of the 30th meeting of state parties to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) took place at the UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday (US time) with the participation of nearly 120 member states.

At the session, Việt Nam underlined the need to enhance international cooperation and have an overall and multi-sectoral approach to the settlement of challenges to the global marine environment.

Nearly 30 countries gave opinions on the UN Secretary-General’s report on oceans and law of the sea, highlighting challenges to the conservation and sustainable use of seas and oceans such as unsustainable economic activities, marine pollution, sea-level rise, and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

They stressed the need to step up international cooperation on the basis of the UNCLOS, boost member states’ convention implementation capacity, and promote the building of an international legally binding instrument on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

During the 30th meeting, Ambassador Đặng Đình Quý, head of the Vietnamese mission to the UN, affirmed the comprehensiveness, unity, and consistency of the 1982 UNCLOS, which is the framework regulating all sea and ocean related activities and helping to ensure safety, security, and freedom of navigation and implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Regarding the South China Sea situation (known in Việt Nam as the East Sea), he reiterated Việt Nam’s consistent stance, which was also affirmed at a plenary session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, that all disputes must be settled by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, with respect for diplomatic and legal processes and without using force or threatening to use force.

The diplomat expressed concerns about some recent incidents in the East Sea that have seriously infringed Việt Nam’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction.

Quý called on related parties to exercise self-restraint while not carrying out militarisation or conducting activities that complicate the situation, escalate disputes, affect the safety and security of navigation and overflight in the East Sea, or jeopardise peace and stability in the region.

All parties must fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and soon finalise a substantive and efficient code of conduct that is in line with the UNCLOS, he added.

The 30th meeting of state parties to the 1982 UNCLOS began on July 6. Due to movement restrictions imposed by New York authorities and the UN to prevent COVID-19 transmission, the event was held in different forms, including sending written opinions and feedback along with online and in-person sessions. — VNS