The Vietnamese Delegation to the United Nations (UN) has just hosted an online meeting of the group “Friends of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)” with the participation of the ambassadors, heada of Delegations and representatives of more than 120 member states of the United Nations, Vietnam’s state-controlled media reported on July 22.
The meeting, which took place on July 21, was themed “The Importance of UNCLOS in the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 of the United Nations on the conservation and sustainable use of seas and oceans (SDG 14).”
Notably, the news quoted Professor of International Public Law Malcolm Evans at the University of Bristol (UK) saying that UNCLOS, also known as the “Charter of the Oceans,” is the framework governing all activities at sea and oceans, ensuring a balance between the need to exploit resources from the sea, freedom and management of the sea for the common good.
The dispute settlement mechanism established under UNCLOS helps to settle disputes peacefully between states. Since UNCLOS reflects most rules of international law and custom and is binding on all states, the interpretation and application of UNCLOS by courts and tribunals will be of great importance to all states, both members and non-members of UNCLOS.
Besides, according to GS. Evans, UNCLOS can be regularly updated to meet current and future challenges in the seas and oceans, such as marine safety and security, marine pollution, and exploitation of resources on the seabed. and biodiversity.
Regarding the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14, Prof. Evans argues that the goals of the new SDG14 are mainly focused on “aqua life,” the benefits to developing and underdeveloped countries from fishing activities. According to him, the goals of SDG14 need to be expanded to meet emerging sustainable development needs such as exploiting resources on the seabed, responding to challenges posed by climate change and sea level rise.
Vietnam’s state-controlled media also quoted Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of the Vietnamese delegation to the UN, as saying: In addition to affirming the central role of UNCLOS in promoting a rules-based maritime legal order, some representatives of the participating countries expressed their desire to soon resume the negotiation process of the document on biodiversity outside the jurisdiction, with an interest in the use of technology and science in research, exploitation and conservation. oceans and seas.
Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy also said that the group “Friends of UNCLOS” will maintain regular activities, thereby helping to enhance understanding of UNCLOS, share good practices, and meet the common concerns of the international community.