|Vietnam's Sinh Ton island (Photo: VNA)
Contributions pledged to 1982 UNCLOS
The initiative upholds the role and value of UNCLOS, promotes compliance with the Convention, and creates a coordination mechanism to jointly address challenges facing the Convention and maritime issues.
Many countries and ambassadors have pledged to contribute to UNCLOS peacefully and take rule-based actions. They describe UNCLOS as a comprehensive document that regulates all encounters at sea and is a framework for international cooperation on maritime issues, stronger ocean governance, maintaining legal order at sea, and peacefully settling any disputes. All countries, regardless of their socio-economic condition or geography, have an interest in abiding by UNCLOS.
The Group of Friends of the 1982 UNCLOS is not an organization that makes legally-binding decisions like the UN Security Council, but a forum where representatives of countries can discuss maritime laws, narrow differences, better understand one another, and submit regional maritime issues for discussion and consultation.
For any country, the best way to settle maritime disputes is to apply rules and UNCLOS is an important part of international law and order and a legal foundation on which countries exercise maritime interests and responsibilities.
The Group of Friends of the 1982 UNCLOS includes members from both powerful and small countries.
|The Permanent Court of Arbitration issues a ruling on the East Sea in 2016 (Photo: qdnd.vn)
International law is upheld in settling East Sea issues
The East Sea has (known internationally as the South China Sea) recently drawn a lot attention from the international community. The Russian International Affairs Council on July 1 ran an article by Doctor Alexander Korolev and Doctor Irina Strelnikova of the Russian Senior Economic College saying the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in Hague in 2016 was an important milestone in the history of territorial disputes in the East Sea.
The authors emphasized the role of international law in settling disputes in the East Sea saying UNCLOS is the highest authority legally-binding on signatories and citing the importance of the PCA ruling 5 years ago.
They said UNCLOS is the only legal foundation which replaces any historical rights or sovereignty rights or jurisdiction rights that China might want to apply in settling disputes in the East Sea.
They praised ASEAN’s discussion of the need to replace the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) with a Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC), a legally-binding tool for settling disputes in the East Sea. At an online workshop on “Evaluating threats of Chinese policies in the East Sea”, Indonesian experts stressed the need to finalize the COC. Until that time, all parties need to abide by existing legal frameworks including the UNCLOS and the 2002 DOC.