Timor-Leste’s Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araújo speaks at the opening ceremony (Source: VNA)
Dili (VNA) – The Dili International Conference themed “Maritime Boundaries and the Law of the Sea” took place in Timor-Leste’s capital of Dili on May 19, attracting the participation of a crowd of international scholars and policy makers. 

In his opening remarks, Timor-Leste’s Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araújo highlighted the importance of the respect for international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in ensuring security, maritime safety, and peacefully solving emerging disputes.

The organisation of the conference on the occasion of the 20 th founding anniversary of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) aims to assert Timor-Leste’s contribution to abiding by international law and lay the foundation for negotiations to define sovereignty rights and maritime boundaries with regional countries.

ITLOS President Judge Vladimir Golitsyn, underlined the role played by the ITLOS in addressing sea-related international disputes and in urging countries to settle the disputes by diplomatic and jurisdictional measures.

Participants to the conference agreed that countries should represent their responsibilities to strictly obey and apply international law in solving disputes in order to reach long-term and comprehensive measures for the issue.

They also discussed perspectives related to the explanation and application of UNCLOS 1982, and shared experience in settling disputes and negotiating the demarcation of maritime boundaries with other countries.

Talking to the press, Dr. Phan Duy Hao, a senior research fellow at the Centre for International Law of Singapore’s National University remarked that the UNCLOS 1982, which was approved by 167 countries worldwide, is an important international treaty as it regulates basic issues on the sea and ocean, and the rights and responsibility of coastal countries.-VNA