UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

New York (VNA) – Various countries have underscored the significance of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in shaping legal order at seas during the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of UNCLOS, part of the 29th Meeting of the States Parties to the convention that opened in New York on June 17.

Representatives of Latin American, African countries and G77 members as well as more than 30 other countries called on all parties to strictly implement the contents of the convention, settling disputes related to seas and oceans through peaceful measures, and ensuring navigation freedom in line with UNCLOS regulations.

At the same time, they highlighted the need for cooperation on the foundation of spirit and rules of the convention, thus ensuring international legal order on seas and oceans, coping with challenges, and sustainably using seas, oceans and maritime resources.

Addressing the event, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. said that recently and famously, on the basis of UNCLOS it filed a carefully crafted and successful complaint at The Hague to clarify the legal situation in the South China Sea (East Sea) to remove the confusion or the pretext of confusion on the part of those violating it. 

He thanked Vietnamese fishermen for rescuing 22 Filipino crewmen who met an incident at sea on June 9.

In his opening remark of the meeting, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed the significance of the UNCLOS 1982 in promoting and maintaining peace, cooperation, security, stability and sustainable use of maritime resources.

He pointed to a number of challenges to seas and oceans, calling on countries to fully and effectively implement the convention and related documents, and underlining the need for the international community’s efforts to improve the quality of sea and oceans through the strengthening of the realizing the Sustainable Development Goal, including the goal 14 on seas and oceans.-VNA