An international conference on marine security in Southeast Asia was held in Jakarta, Indonesia on August 30 with the participation of scholars, analysts and defence experts from the US, the UK, New Zealand, Japan, India, China and the ASEAN member countries.

The event, co-organised by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Habibie Centre of Indonesia, focused discussions on information sharing and the improvement of knowledge on marine, marine security and marine environment issues and laws, including the sovereignty disputes in the East Sea.

Participants agreed that to ensure marine security, internationally recognised legal bases, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, must be respected. The commitments made by the sides concerned, including the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), goodwill, efforts and cooperation aimed at building and strengthening trust among countries inside and outside the region must also be honoured to ensure peace, security and stability in Southeast Asia in general and the East Sea in particular.

Delegates also took note of the concern on the increasing disputes on sovereignty and territory in Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia . They held that marine security in Southeast Asia can be ensured if a collective defence and security mechanism is built on the basis of developing and broadening such mechanisms as ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM), ADMM+1 and ADMM+3 with ASEAN dialogue partners.-VNA