A representative of the Vietnamese delegation at the United Nations has protested China’s illegal placement of its drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 in the East Sea at an ongoing UN meeting in New York from May 27-30.

Following is the full text of the head of the delegation at the 15th meeting of the UN open-ended informal consultative process on oceans and the law of the sea:

“As a coastal state with 3,200 km coast, under provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Vietnam determined maritime areas under its sovereign right and jurisdiction as well as stipulated legal framework for management, exploration and exploitation of seafood in order to develop its economy and ensure its national food security.

“Vietnam has shared information and evaluation of experts on the role of seafood to food security as well as opportunities and challenges to that role.

“From its experience, Vietnam notes that fishery has been a significant factor of global food supply. For that reason, it is necessary to establish an effective management regime of sustainable fishery and there are several difficulties and challenges in this issue:

“At global level, maritime environment pollution and global climate change strongly affected to maritime fishery. Waste and sewage from industrial activities have made increase of toxic products and decrease of oxygen levels in sea water. At the same time, the atmosphere and ocean have warmed and sea level is rising. These are the reasons, causing ocean acidification, affecting to maritime living resources. The consequent of that process is the strong reduction of fishery output, impacting to food security and lives of fish-men in countries, especially in developing countries in which most of fish-men are poor people and fishery is their unique surviving resource.

"At regional limit, the existence of various undelimited maritime areas in the East Sea (South China Sea) leads to the overlapping sovereign right and jurisdiction of the coastal states. That practice causes unregulated fishery, making fish-boat and fish-man detentions of regional states. Therefore, Vietnam recognises that states around the South China Sea should cooperate to proceed to a regional common framework to regulate the regional fishery and avoid unreasonable disputes.

“At national level, notable difficulties of developing countries are capacity against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in their maritime zones and methods to help poor fish-men to operate legitimate fishery and maintain their daily lives. Thus, Vietnam notes that all states need to cooperate in order to build up an effective management mechanism which allow fishermen to exploit maritime fishing resources under regulation and permitted quantity for the purpose of food security of each country.

“Developing countries also face with difficulties relating to processing technology by which quality and value of seafood are increased. Hence, Vietnam acknowledges that cooperation of experience and technology transfer from developed to developing countries in the field of seafood exploitation need to be strengthened.

“Besides, unilateral actions of coastal states also make difficulties for seafood exploitation of other coastal states. Concretely, China annually promulgates fishing ban over the maritime areas of the South China Sea’s coastal states which violates sovereign right and jurisdiction of these states pursuant to provisions of the UNCLOS, affected to legitimate fishing exploitation of fishermen.

“Since the early May 2014, many Vietnamese fishing boats have been repeatedly controlled, attacked and seriously damaged by Chinese vessels. Most recently, on 26 May 2014, China’s vessels rammed and sunk one Vietnamese boat, with 10 fishermen, which was operating in the traditional fishery area.

“Moreover, China has illegally installed Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil drilling rig since 01 May 2014 in the Viet Nam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf to operate oil exploration activities.

“Concurrently, China also announced to prohibit all navigational actions of vessels in the area of 2 nautical miles around the oil rig. In fact, China has maneuvered more than 130 enforcement vessels including warships to prevent legitimate fishing activities of Vietnam’s fishermen in the Vietnamese traditional fishing ground.

“The China’s installation of the oil drilling rig violates sovereign right and jurisdiction of Vietnam over its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, enshrining in international law, especially UNCLOS”.-VNA