An international seminar to seek measures to effectively resolve disputes in the East Sea took place in the Malaysian capital city of Kuala Lumpur on Oct. 17.

Jointly organised by the Malaysian Institute of ASEAN Studies and Global Affairs and the Indian Centre for ASEAN Strategic Studies, the event, themed “The road to peace, stability and development” drew the participation of 130 scholars and researchers from Malaysia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and other countries.

Delegates focused on discussing the guidelines for the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards building the Code of Conduct (COC) of Parties in the East Sea, the strategic importance of shipping routes in the East Sea to Asian trade, and recent military activities in the disputed areas.

In a joint statement issued following the event, delegates held that disputes in the East Sea must be settled multilaterally in the spirit of cooperation, understanding, equality, mutual respect and compliance with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The delegates also expressed their support for the Philippines’ initiative on building the East Sea into a peaceful, stable and developing area, hailed ASEAN’s establishment of a working group to compile the COC and called on regional solidarity and consensus on the East Sea issue.

A seminar entitled, “East Sea: promoting economic cooperation and environmental protection” was also held recently in the University of Toronto in Canada. Participants at the event agreed that the right to travel freely on the sea is of importance to international trade./.