Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum opens in Da Nang hinh anh 1The 7th Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF-7) opens in the central city of Da Nang on December 6.(Photo: VNA)

Da Nang (VNA) – The 7th Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF-7) was opened in the central city of Da Nang on December 6, gathering over 90 governmental officials and scholars from ten ASEAN nations and eight ASEAN Dialogue Partners.

Sea and ocean play a crucial part in every nation around the world, and marine cooperation has always been given high priority in regional cooperation mechanism, programmes and plans, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung stated in his opening remarks at the event.

Dung recognized progress in regional martime cooperation over recent years, highlighting initiatives to response to marine environmental pollution, manage ocean waste, combat illegal fishing and sustainably use marine resources.

He also outlined multiple challenges facing the region, including transnational organised crime at sea, marine pollution, ocean acidification, security and safety of fishermen and seafarers and escalating tension at sea, particularly in the East Sea.

These challenges are hampering potential and prospects for maritime partnership in the region, the deputy FM said.

He asked participating countries to comprehensively review the maritime cooperation in recent years and recommend ways to beef up maritime ties in the coming time. He also called for the forum’s greater role in coordinating martime cooperation in the region.

The participating nations should also review the adherence to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and discuss ways to ensure all maritime activities on regional waters comply with it, he added.

The EAMF-7 is scheduled to include an open discussion on the 25-year enforcement of the 1982 UNCLOS, and a closed session to exchange views on the regional maritime security and partnership and to consider recommendations and new initiatives on maritime issues.

The EAMF was first launched in 2012./.