International experts call for restrain in the East Sea

The fourth international seminar on the East Sea opened in Ho Chi Minh City on November 19, drawing hundreds of local and international experts and scholars.

The event themed ‘East Sea-Cooperation for Regional Security and Development’, takes place at a time when the international community celebrates the 30th anniversary of the signing of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 10th year of the signing of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

The seminar was attended by more than 200 scholars, researchers and experts; including about 100 scholars, government officials from 27 countries and regions and nearly 30 representatives of the diplomatic corps in Vietnam.

Participants made their recommendations to the governments involved in the disputes, to strengthen cooperation, and prevent and control any disputes as well as any crisis in the East Sea.

In his opening speech, Dang Dinh Quy, President of the Diplomacy Academy of Vietnam, said the East Sea is a region with one of the most complicated disputes in the world.

The situation is mounting due to developments in many countries relating to economics, politics, military and security--as well as sea disputes and non-traditional security threats such as piracy, pollution, degradation of maritime resources and climate change etc, he added.

Therefore, effective measures are needed to carry out the results of studies and policy recommendations, he said.

At a time of rising tension in the East Sea, diplomatic endeavors by concerned parties as well as by ASEAN and China have not yet been interrupted, Quy noted.

According to scientists attending the seminar, enormous effort has been made by parties directly and indirectly concerned in the dispute, contributing to better cooperation and conflict prevention to preserve the East Sea as an area of peace.

They highlighted the importance of implementing DOC, and the agreement reached between ASEAN and China on building the Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.

They said that scholarly opinions and reports have helped the public understand the nature of the disputes as well as policy makers have carefully considered national interests before making any decision relating to the East Sea.

According to the organizing board, the seminar is to exchange study conclusions and discuss the importance of the East Sea from the viewpoints of international law and international relations, the interests of concerned parties and the recent developments in the East Sea.

It also proposes to the governments of directly and indirectly concerned parties to strengthen cooperation to prevent and control conflicts and crisis in the East Sea.

The three-day event also recommends ways that academic studies can be made useful to leaders in East Sea for policy-making. The participants will also focus on discussing issues of traditional security concerns such as disputes over islands and the sea and the relations between ASEAN , the US and China. They also highlight the seriousness of emerging security issues including piracy, environmental pollution, climate change, and the over exploitation of seafood resources.

On the first day of the seminar, participants were briefed on the conflict and cooperation promotion efforts of stakeholders both directly and indirectly involved in the region’s East Sea disputes.

The participants called on parties concerned to try even harder to develop measures with the capacity to improve the situation. They also voiced the relevant parties should refrain, comply with international law, maintain the unity of ASEAN to panel an effective regional cooperation framework.

Many scholars stressed that in the current background of international relations, no party can use force to settle disputes in the East Sea.

By Ai Chan - translated by Dan

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