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Scholars welcome The Hague ruling for East Vietnam Sea at int’l workshop

Scholars welcome The Hague ruling for East Vietnam Sea at int’l workshop

Friday, August 19, 2016, 17:10 GMT+7

An arbitral tribunal’s ruling and the maintenance of peace and stability in the East Vietnam Sea have been highlighted in a joint consensus reached by scholars from Vietnam and other nations during an international conference held in the south-central city of Nha Trang.

Delegates at the international workshop on the ‘Legal Status of Islands and Rocks in International Law and Practice in the East Vietnam Sea,’ running from August 16 to 18, issued a joint statement on Wednesday following discussion on recent developments in the East Vietnam Sea.

The consensus featured several points based on the results of the objective and scientific presentations, as well as constructive conversations amongst the academics in attendance.

The scholars agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the East Vietnam Sea, reiterating the need to ensure freedom of navigation and aviation in the maritime area as per international law, respecting the interests of countries in the region and the global community.

An amicable settlement of disputes based on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and its application to the disputes in the East Vietnam Sea were also stressed at the workshop.

The academics stated that they welcomed “the final and binding Award rendered by the UNCLOS Annex VII [East Vietnam Sea] Arbitral Tribunal on 12 July 2016, which has contributed to narrowing the geographical scope of the disputes and opening up opportunities for resolving disputes and promoting cooperation in the interest of environmental protection and sustainable development in the [East Vietnam Sea].”

Judges at the arbitration tribunal in The Hague rejected China's claims to economic rights across large swathes of the East Vietnam Sea in a lawsuit brought by the Philippines.

The scholars emphasized ASEAN’s centrality in building regional security and promoting diplomatic and legal processes in the resolution of differences in the seaway, as per Article 33 of the United Nations Charter.

The bloc should also focus on the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea (DOC) and early conclusion of a Code of Conduct (COC) to open more opportunities for the preservation of peace and stability.

The delegates hoped for the organization of more international seminars on the topic of East Vietnam Sea to extend the network amongst scholars.

They expected to “build public opinions and to make policy recommendations to government agencies, and international organizations with the aim of creating an environment conducive to the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation, and a legal order based on international law in the [East Vietnam Sea].”





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