Thursday, October 26, 2023

South China Sea International Conference towards peace and sustainable development


The 15th South China Sea International Conference themed “Luminate the Grey, Light Up the Green”, jointly organized by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV) and partner agencies, opened on October 25 in Ho Chi Minh City.

 The event witnessed the presence of more than 200 delegates attending in person and nearly 250 delegates via online platform, as well as nearly 50 speakers who are reputable experts from nearly 20 countries, alongside close to 70 delegates from foreign representative agencies in the nation.

As part of his opening speech at the event, Pham Lan Dung, acting director of the DAV, said that with a desire to become one of the leading research facilities throughout the region, the academy has increasingly shown its proactive role in promoting open, frank, and inclusive academic discussions on diverse topics and emerging issues that have both a regional and global impact.

Along with many initiatives, the DAV has been contributing to further connecting leaders, experts, scholars, and policymakers from many regions around the world, while creating constructive forums that promote dialogue, trust, and co-operation across a multitude of fields.

The conference concentrated on discussing how maritime forces and regional mechanisms are able to constructively contribute to the goal of a "greener" and "more peaceful" East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea.

In his remarks, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Do Hung Viet stated that over the past 15 years the East Sea Conference series has been creating an open, frank, and friendly environment specifically for regional and international experts to gather together in order to enhance common understanding and narrow differences.

Viet expects that over the course of the next 15 years this dialogue will continue to become an important, open, inclusive, and creative regional maritime security forum, whilst also serving as a meeting place and intersection of interests from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific region and beyond.

Compared to 15 years ago, the situation in the East Sea is becoming increasingly complicated, although it remains an area that offers plenty of potential co-operation opportunities, the Vietnamese diplomat said.

Most notably, the latest agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction is evidence that countries have a common concern for the sea. Indeed, Vietnam is proud to be one of the first countries to sign the agreement.

He went on to underline the need to respect and comply with international maritime law stipulated in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982) as a means of moving towards peace and sustainable development.

Recent times has seen the country and ASEAN member states continue to strive towards a regional order, including a stable, rules-based maritime space.

The nation strongly supports the realisation and effective implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and the Vision for Maritime Cooperation which was recently adopted by the bloc.

At the same time, the country always supports fresh initiatives to achieve common goals, through bilateral, multilateral, and new mechanisms, the official added.

The two-day event marked many new points in ideas and organization when for the first time it dedicated a discussion session between representatives from the Coast Guard forces of some coastal countries in the East Sea.

Moreover, the conference also upgraded a separate session of young leaders in the region to a plenary session on the agenda.

Upgrading the young leadership session to the main agenda aims to create awareness for the next generation regarding the importance of peace, co-operation, rule of law, and finding new perspectives on peaceful solutions to the East Sea dispute.




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