The two-day event drew the participation of more than 200 delegates from within and outside ASEAN, including Vietnamese Associate Professor Nguyen Thi Lan Anh, who is vice director of the East Sea Institute under the Foreign Ministry of Vietnam.
This annual conference, the fifth in the series, features presentations on emerging issues on the East Sea by prominent experts from various countries such as Australia, China, France, United Kingdom, the United States and the Philippines.
Topical issues discussed at the conference include the involvement of major powers in the East Sea and initiatives at promoting cooperation that would benefit all concerned nations. In addition, prominent lawyers also spend time on reviewing legal developments and assess future legal interactions in the East Sea.
Addressing the gathering, Deputy Minister under the Prime Minister’s Department of Malaysia said ASEAN has been subjected to many challenges over the past time, including seeking an acceptable solution to East Sea disputes.
The July 12 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) places China, ASEAN nations and outside parties at a crossroad that opens up many possibilities and challenges.
He affirmed that Malaysia remains steadfast in calling for the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the expeditious conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
The country adheres to the principles of international law and conventions such as United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982, the Deputy Minister said, adding that Malaysia is always supportive of dialogue and discussion, through which all interests will be heard and which, in the long run, will ensure that the East Sea will remain a major factor in promoting the economic and social well-being of the international community.
The Malaysia official hoped that the conference contributes towards a healthy and positive discourse among the various players.