1982 UNCLOS - inclusive global legal framework: experts
Updated : 12/11/2022 9:49:21 AM (GMT+0700)

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), signed on December 10, 1982, is an inclusive and most important global legal framework to regulate rights and obligations of all coastal nations, a senior expert has affirmed.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks at a UN General Assembly session in New York on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the UNCLOS. Photo: Xinhua/VNA

Vu Hai Dang, a senior research fellow at the Centre for International Law - National University of Singapore, told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) that the fact that the convention had been ratified by the EU and 167 countries, including landlocked nations such as Laos, Mongolia and Switzerland, shows that its regulations have been widely recognised by the international community.

The implementation of the convention will reduce overlapping areas and manage disputes more effectively, preventing escalating tensions in the region, he said.

The expert spoke of the Group of Friends on the UNCLOS, established in June 2021 with Vietnam as a co-founder, and expressed his belief that the group will contribute to promoting the respect for international law and serve as an effective channel for discussions between countries on issues relating to seas and islands.

Professor, Dr. Thomas Engelbert from the German University of Hamburg held that the UNCLOS is of great significance to maritime security not only in Indo-Pacific but also the world as well.

This is the first time that clear regulations on behaviours at sea have been put forth, he said, viewing the formation of the document as a milestone in international law relating to the sea.

The convention has been used to successfully settle many complicated maritime disputes, including one on the East Sea in January 2013.

Talking about the UNCLOS Group of Friends, initiated by Germany and Vietnam, the professor said such cooperation initiatives and mechanisms are significant and crucial to the implementation of the convention.

Dr Gerhard Will, former researcher on the East Sea at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, said the UNCLOS should be the ground for any solution in the East Sea.

All regulations for long-term and sustainable purposes must be based on the convention, he stressed.

In another interview with the VNA, Pavel Gudev, senior research fellow at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations at the Russia Academy of Sciences, described the UNCLOS as a unique experiment in international relations as it was complied over nearly 10 years.

He said the convention could be considered a "constitution" of the sea, as it regulates almost all sea-related activities.

Source: VNA

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