A seminar on undersea energy resources in Asia and opportunities for joint development was held in Jakarta , Indonesia on Dec. 12.

The event, co-organised by the US-based National Bureau of Asian Research and Indonesia ’s Habibie Centre, attracted 70 scholars and scientists from many countries in the world and representatives from some embassies in Jakarta , including Vietnam and China .

Addressing the opening ceremony, the Executive Director of Habibie Centre, Ima Abdurahim stressed the importance of the seminar at a time when sovereignty disputes in East Asia and Southeast Asia are one of the greatest threats to the security and economies of regional and global countries.

Regional maritime routes play an indispensable part to free trade and help maintain economic development of local countries as well as those who utilise the routes, she said.

Participants at the seminar talked about cooperation at sea, the responsibilities of concerned countries, lessons on joint development as well as measures to deal with sovereignty disputes.

They said concerned parties should respect each other and deal with disputes via dialogue but not use force.

They all agreed that measures to build confidence in the East Sea between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China , especially the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) in 2002, have helped ease tensions in the region. They also act as a basis for both sides to advance to the Code of Conduct (COC) in the spirit of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea./.