Forums examine ways to augment maritime co-operation between ASEAN and partners

VOV.VN - The 11th ASEAN Maritime Forum (AMF) and the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF) was held virtually from November 16 to November 17 under the chair of Brunei, the ASEAN Chair for 2021.

The events saw the participation of representatives from all ASEAN member countries and partners, as well as prestigious experts and scholars based both in the region and around the world.

Upon addressing the AMF and EAMD, Vu Ho, director of the ASEAN Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, hailed the role of the forums in promoting sea co-operation inside the bloc, along with between the association and its partners. He underlined the significance of maintaining the central role of ASEAN within the region, as well as in sea co-operation, thereby calling on all partners to continue supporting the bloc in a transparent and trustful manner whilst boosting co-operation with the group through ASEAN-led mechanisms.

The Vietnamese representative also stated the urgent need of maintaining and protecting the sea environment, suggesting that it should be considered a regular topic of sea-related discussions in the region moving forward.

Amid the complicated developments occurring in the East Sea, the country reiterated its principled stance and highlighted the benefit and responsibility of countries in contributing to making the East Sea a region of peace, co-operation, and stability

During the AMF, ASEAN member countries also highlighted the role of the fourm, especially in enhancing the efficiency of co-ordination and co-operation among 12 specialised-ASEAN agencies on sea co-operation.

They therefore welcomed the ASEAN Leaders' Declaration on the Blue Economy adopted during the third and 39th ASEAN Summits in November this year. Indeed, all participants came to a common perspective on blue economic collaboration and defining potential co-operation areas among ASEAN member countries, as well as between the various groupings and partners.

As part of the occasion, in the role co-chair of the ARF’s inter-sessional meeting on maritime security for the 2018-2021 period, the nation reviewed outcomes of co-operation in the field and the progress of the ARF Work Plan on Maritime Security. This was done along with sharing expectations on maritime security collaboration and prioritised areas for the future.

At the EAMF, participants primarily focused on maintaining peace and upholding the law-based regional order in order to reinforce international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and promoting the growth of the blue sea economy and the protection of the sea environment. They highlighted the important role of the UNCLOS 1982 as the legal framework for all activities taking place in seas and oceans, while calling for greater co-operation in protecting and preserving sea environment.

Participants also showed concern regarding current challenges, such as the degradation of sea environment, piracy, terrorism, smuggling, human trafficking, and natural disasters. Simultaneously, they underlined the significance of sea transport connections and the ensuring of supply chains both throughout the region and the wider world.

They stressed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, maritime, and aviation security, as well as safety and freedom in the East Sea. They consider this to be in the shared interests of countries, while underlining the need to abide by the UNCLOS 1982. This serves as a call for restraint as to not complicate the situation, along with the settlement of disputes on the foundation of international law, including the UNCLOS 1982.

They supported the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the building of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea in line with international law, including the UNCLOS 1982.