East Sea security, development workshop closes

(VNA) An international workshop on cooperation on the East Sea wrapped up in Hanoi on Nov. 27 with 25 speeches presented and four discussion sessions held.
Addressing the closing ceremony of the workshop, Prof. Dr Duong Van Quang, President of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, said that scientific knowledge at the event will be a valuable reference source for policy makers and provide a more objective and comprehensive assessment of disputes in this region.

Themed “The East Sea: Cooperation for Regional Security and Development”, the two-day workshop helped clarify the role and great significance of the East Sea in security and development for concerned countries, the region and the entire world, along with the formation of a framework of dialogues among scientists on the East Sea.

At the event, scholars said that although concerned parties must solve many legal and technical issues as well as collect historical evidence, complex disputes on the East Sea can be settled within international law as it contains articles, procedures and mechanisms such as the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the International Arbitration.

To take advantage of this approach, the participants said that concerned parties should conduct bilateral and multi-lateral negotiations which can supplement each other.

Cooperation on exploitation of the area is also an avenue through which concerned parties can put aside their disputes for their mutual benefit, they said, provided that parties in the dispute agree on a number of key points such as geographical divisions and mechanisms for cooperation, they elaborated.

They suggested priority be given to cooperation in commercial fishing and settling non-traditional security issues.

The scholars emphasized that the process of settling disputes on the East Sea must be combined with the process of building a strong ASEAN Community and with the goals of regional security, peace, and prosperity.

A number of delegates emphasized the requirement that all parties, including countries outside the region, increase the transparency of their military strategies and expenditures to build mutual trust.

In the immediate term, the process of building a Code of Conduct of parties (COC) in the East Sea should be continued along with the application of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) on building trust, using preventive diplomacy and settling disputes, participants concluded./.