Vietnam PM proposes global solutions for maritime security

By Minh Nga   August 9, 2021 | 11:03 pm PT
Vietnam PM proposes global solutions for maritime security
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the online high-level open discussion of the United Nations Security Council in Hanoi, August 9, 2021. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said the world is facing many complex maritime security challenges, proposing an adequate response at a UN Security Council meeting.

The PM attended a high-level online discussion of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) themed "Enhancing Maritime Security: A Case for International Cooperation" at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi as India currently holds the rotational presidency of council.

This is the first time the UNSC has held a separate official meeting on the topic of maritime security, according to a statement from Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Senior leaders and representatives of UNSC member countries all expressed concern about increasing threats to maritime security and safety such as terrorism, piracy, cross-border criminal organizations, drug and weapons trafficking.

They said it is necessary to strengthen cooperation to deal with challenges and promote compliance with international laws, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.

PM Chinh said the world is facing increasingly complex maritime security challenges.

"Unilateral acts that violate international law, even threats or use of force, have escalated tensions and affected peace, friendship, security, safety and freedom of navigation and trade, as well as efforts to address non-traditional security challenges," he said.

In this regard, he made the following proposals:

First, it is imperative that states and international organizations develop a comprehensive, extensive and broad awareness of the importance of oceans and seas, and the threats to maritime security. Such awareness will form the basis for greater responsibility and political will to strengthen confidence and develop more cohesive and effective cooperation, in order to preserve and utilize oceans and seas in a sustainable manner, and safeguard a peaceful and stable maritime environment. Resources should be made available for the implementation of national strategies and regulations to meet this end.

Second, maritime security is a global issue and therefore requires global solutions. We need to take a comprehensive and holistic approach based on cooperation, dialogue and international law, and forge stronger cooperation through bilateral and multilateral channels and at regional, inter-regional and global levels to effectively address maritime security challenges.

Vietnam proposes the development of a network of arrangements and initiatives for regional maritime security with the United Nations working as coordinator, to bolster information and experience sharing, coordinate actions, and address common challenges in a timely manner.

He said Vietnam values and actively takes part in initiatives and mechanisms in ASEAN and between ASEAN and its partners for practical cooperation in the South China Sea. They provide forums for dialogue and confidence building, and help coordinate maritime security cooperation.

Vietnam is determined to work with ASEAN and China to seriously, fully and effectively implement the 2002 Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and negotiate an effective and substantive Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (COC) consistent with international law, in particular UNCLOS 1982. In addition, Vietnam calls upon all countries and multilateral institutions, especially UN agencies, to step up assistance and pay due attention to the hardships and interests of developing countries.

Third, the policies, regulations and conduct of states at sea must be in line with international law, especially the United Nations Charter and UNCLOS 1982.

States shall uphold fully their legal obligations under the convention, respect the sovereignty, interests and legitimate economic activities of relevant states, settle disputes through peaceful means in line with international law, respect diplomatic and legal processes, and ensure freedom, safety and security of navigation and overflight, without resorting to acts that would complicate the situation or create tension.

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