A high-level workshop on maritime issues and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) took place in Ha Long city, northern Quang Ninh province on June 4.

The workshop was jointly organised by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV) and the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Vietnam via the EU-Vietnam Strategic Dialogue Facility.

Themed “Maritime issues and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS): Sharing European and Asian Approaches to Territorial Disputes”, the event offered a forum for experts, academics and policy practitioners from the EU and Vietnam to exchange views, experiences and best practices on various aspects related to maritime issues.

The event also enhanced attendees’ understanding and knowledge of the functions and mechanisms of the UNCLOS as well as regional and EU-Vietnam cooperation in maritime affairs.

In the opening remarks, DAV Director Dang Dinh Quy said participants would focus on elaborating on numerous issues, including the existing problems in perception, explanation and application of the international sea law.

He also hoped that recommendations would be produced for improved dispute management and conflict prevention, aiming for satisfactory settlement of territorial disputes and promoting peace and development cooperation.

For his part, Ambassador Franz Jessen, Head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam, noted the EU has expressed its view that to a long-term resolution for disputes in the East Sea should be achieved through dialogue and negotiation in accordance with international law, including the UNCLOS.

The EU encouraged joint management of resources and separating the sovereignty issue from economic exploitation to contribute to confidence building, the ambassador added.

Southeast Asian security and stability is decisive to the region’s continued economic success, he stressed.

In addition, the workshop analysed various aspects related to maritime issues in Europe and the Asian region, including legal regulations, maritime security, maritime cooperation and ocean governance; and maritime delimitation and dispute settlement.

The EU-Vietnam Strategic Dialogue Facility is a three-year programme (2013-2016) funded by the EU to support Vietnam’s development through the implementation of activities in areas covered by the EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.-VNA