Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh has stressed the crucial role played by seas and islands in socio-economic development, politics, national defence and security in almost all countries worldwide, especially coastal nations.

He made the remark at a meeting to mark the Vietnam Sea and Island Week 2013 themed “Join hands for national seas and islands” and World Ocean Day in the central province of Ha Tinh on June 8.

The Resolution of the fourth Conference of the Party Central Committee on Vietnam Marine Strategy until 2020 set the goal of turning Vietnam into a strong and prosperous country from marine resources, and ensuring national sovereignty and sovereign rights over seas and islands, contributing to the cause of industrialisation and modernisation.

To realise such goals, Deputy PM Ninh asked ministries, departments and localities to continue upholding the strongest determination of the entire Party, people and armed forces to safeguard Vietnam’s sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over seas and islands, affirm Vietnam’s indisputable sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes.

He also urged them to perfect policies and laws on seas and islands, accelerate socio-economic development in tandem with ensuring national defence and security, and the development between coastal areas and plain and urban areas.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Minh Quang also highlighted the responsibilities and roles of each Vietnamese, organisation and business in protecting environment and national seas and islands.

Vietnam has a sea area and continental shelf of more than 1 million sq. km and a coastline of over 3,260km with over 3,000 big and small islands, including Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes.-VNA