JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Next generation of leaders highlight peace solutions at int’l conference on East Vietnam Sea

Next generation of leaders highlight peace solutions at int’l conference on East Vietnam Sea

Sunday, October 29, 2023, 18:01 GMT+7
Next generation of leaders highlight peace solutions at int’l conference on East Vietnam Sea
Young panelists attend the 15th South China Sea International Conference, held in Ho Chi Minh City from October 25 and 26, 2023. Photo: Huu Hanh / Tuoi Tre

The 15th South China Sea International Conference, held in Ho Chi Minh City from Wednesday to Thursday, featured a special session during which the young generation raised their voice and contributed efforts for peace solutions in the waterway known in Vietnam as the East Vietnam Sea.

Nicolás Antonio, a research assistant at the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, underscored peace solutions in the region during Session 8: ‘Voice of the Next Generation.'

“We don’t want war. What we want is dialogue and the rule of law based on the principles of international law,” Antonio told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

He added that young people should have their own ways to contribute efforts to settling disputes in the East Vietnam Sea.

"We are the generation of social media, we can use our voices to speak up for those who are being badly impacted," Antonio said.

“Coming from a country where fishermen are the second-poorest group, I believe I can use social networks to help their stories unfold."

Nicolás Antonio, a research assistant at the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, gestures while speaking at the conference, October 26, 2023. Photo: Huu Hanh / Tuoi Tre

Nicolás Antonio, a research assistant at the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, gestures while speaking at the conference, October 26, 2023. Photo: Huu Hanh / Tuoi Tre

Dinh Thi Tung Lam, a senior student at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV) with a major in international law, lauded the conference’s Session 8, which enabled the young to share their insights and get their voices heard.

Lam said issues linked to the East Vietnam Sea remain complicated and need addressing in the long term. Hence, the voices of young people should be heard and respected.

The 15th South China Sea International Conference gathered nearly 50 speakers from some 20 countries and territories as well as roughly 70 delegates from foreign representative offices in Vietnam. Photo: Huu Hanh / Tuoi Tre

The 15th South China Sea International Conference gathered nearly 50 speakers from some 20 countries and territories as well as roughly 70 delegates from foreign representative offices in Vietnam. Photo: Huu Hanh / Tuoi Tre

Earlier at the two-day conference, the participants engaged in in-depth discussions on various topics, such as global powers competition, the current status of legal issues, the role of coast guard forces in advancing cooperation, and emerging issues including critical minerals and sustainable energy transition.

During Session 5, entitled ‘The Coast Guard’s Role in Fostering Cooperation in the South China Sea,' speakers underlined the importance of cooperation among coast guard forces in the region.

Most scholars stressed the importance of coast guard diplomacy, in which small and medium-sized countries should promote cooperation, interaction, consistent actions, and solidarity based on international law to create collective strength.

Acting managing director at Asia and Pacific of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Paola Pampaloni, who attended the conference virtually, highlighted the importance of multilateralism.

She said the EU has strategic and economic interests linked to maritime security and the prosperity of countries along the East Vietnam Sea coast.

Hence, the grouping strongly opposes any actions that build up tensions and undermine the rules-based order.

The EEAS representative also asserted that the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is a ‘guiding light’ and a ‘lodestar’ to peacefully settle disputes in the region.

As for Session 6, entitled ‘Energy at a Crossroads: Traditional or Renewable Energy?', speakers mostly discussed such topics as offshore wind power development, energy transition, and the mining of rare earths.

The participants talked about deep-sea mining which has become a geopolitical issue in the fierce competition among great powers.

They also talked over undersea infrastructure in the East Vietnam Sea, including the submarine cable systems to connect and transmit data and information, and underlined the need that countries should consider seabed infrastructure security as critical infrastructure, whose priority level should be equal to that of economic security and national defense.

Delivering an opening speech at the event on Wednesday, Do Hung Viet, Vietnam's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that the annual series of the South China Sea International Conference over the past 15 years has served as an open and candid academic platform where international and regional experts and policymakers gathered to enhance mutual understanding and narrow differences.

Amid the East Vietnam Sea grappling with unprecedented complex and ambiguous threats, the 15th edition, meant to ‘Luminate the Grey, Light up the Green,’ served as a forum for dialogues, ideas, and joint actions, according to the DAV, the conference organizer.

Pham Lan Dung, acting director at the DAV, said the organizer hoped that experts would jointly analyze developments in the East Vietnam Sea and the region, identify policies that promote trust and cooperation, and determine actions that leave a negative impact on the rules-based order and heighten tensions.

According to Deputy Minister Viet, the Indo-Pacific region has become a ‘center’ of global growth and a key driver of global recovery and future prosperity. 

Compared to the past 15 years, developments in the East Vietnam Sea have become more complicated.

Many more ‘grey areas’ have appeared that should be clarified, but the East Vietnam Sea remains an area full of opportunities for cooperation, Viet added.

Amid ongoing conflicts in many parts of the world, possible clashes and conflicts are inevitable in the Indo-Pacific region, the Vietnamese diplomat said.

Viet underlined the need for international and regional cooperation so as to help turn ‘grey’ areas into ‘green’ ones in the East Vietnam Sea and to step closer toward peace and sustainable development.

To do so, he underscored respect for and compliance with the 1982 UNCLOS.

Over the past years, Vietnam and other ASEAN member states have been striving toward a regional order, including a stable, rules-based maritime space.

Vietnam strongly endorses the effective implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific and the ASEAN Maritime Outlook recently approved by the bloc.

Vietnam always supports new initiatives for common goals via bilateral, multilateral, and new mechanisms, Viet said.

Dr. Nguyen Hung Son, deputy-director at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV), addresses the 15th South China Sea International Conference, held in Ho Chi Minh City from October 25 and 26, 2023. Photo: Huu Hanh / Tuoi Tre

Dr. Nguyen Hung Son, deputy director at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, addresses the 15th South China Sea International Conference, held in Ho Chi Minh City from October 25 and 26, 2023. Photo: Huu Hanh / Tuoi Tre

Speakers join a session during the first day of the conference, October 25, 2023. Photo: Huu Hanh / Tuoi Tre

Speakers join a session during the first day of the conference, October 25, 2023. Photo: Huu Hanh / Tuoi Tre

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Hong Ngan - Nghi Vu - Nhat Dang / Tuoi Tre News

More

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

‘Taste of Australia’ gala dinner held in Ho Chi Minh City after 2-year hiatus

Taste of Australia Gala Reception has returned to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Latest news