1982 UNCLOS helps shape order at oceans and seas

As part of the ongoing 11th South China Sea International Conference in Hanoi, delegates on November 6 afternoon attended a special session marking the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and 25 years since Vietnam approved the convention.

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At the conference
At the session, delegates reviewed the process of formation and the importance of the 1982 UNCLOS which is considered as the UN “charter of the oceans” after 25 years of enforcement.

Prof. Stanislaw Michal Pawlak, Judge of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), said the 1982 UNCLOS became effective on November 16, 1994. The convention created a comprehensive legal system, helping to shape the order at oceans and seas around the world and establish principles to adjust the use of resources of the oceans and seas, he said.

Over the last quarter of the century, the 1982 UNCLOS has remarkably contributed to ensuring peace, cooperation and friendly relations among nations across the globe, he said.

While highlighting a number of major contents of the 1982 UNCLOS, Pawlak said, for coastal states, the convention has clear regulations stipulating the sovereignty, sovereignty rights and jurisdiction over their exclusive economic zones and continental shelves.

Under the terms of the 1982 UNCLOS, the member states must settle any disputes among parties concerned via peaceful measures in line with Article 2 of the United Nations Charter, he added.

While evaluating the ITLOS, the judge said the tribunal was set up under the 1982 UNCLOS and has experienced a process of smooth operation. Over the past 23 years, as many as 28 lawsuits have been lodged to the tribunal, covering a wide range of aspects, he said.

Pawlak affirmed that the ITLOS has contributed to promoting respect for law at sea as well as maintaining peace, justice and progress in international relations.

During the session, leading experts and scholars of Vietnam and foreign countries discussed a variety of aspects regarding the application of the 1982 UNCLOS in specific lawsuits as well as solutions to force coastal nations to comply with the convention.

The 11th South China Sea International Conference with the theme of “Cooperation for regional security and development” is being co-organised in Hanoi on November 6 and 7 by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV), the Foundation for East Sea Studies (FESS) and the Vietnam Lawyers Association (VLA. It has brought together more than 50 speakers and some 250 officials, scholars and diplomats of Vietnam and foreign countries.
VNA