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Viet Nam & UN
Statement by Ambassador Hoang Chi Trung, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. at the joint debate of the General Assembly 63rd Session on agenda item 70 (a) and (b): Oceans and the Law of the Sea
12-04-2008, 12:47 pm

 New York,Thursday, 4th December 2008


Mr. President,

At the outset, the Vietnamese delegation welcomes the opportunity to participate in this debate and wishes to express our appreciation of the comprehensive and informative Report of the Secretary-General on the Oceans and the Law of the Sea contained in document A/63/63. My delegation also wishes to thank the Office of Legal Affairs, in particular the Division of Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, for their valuable support in the consideration of issues related to the oceans and the law of the sea by Member States throughout the year.

Mr. President,

Last year, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the UNCLOS. The Convention, an outstanding international codification achievement, provides a comprehensive and sound legal order for the oceans and seas, contributing to the strengthening of peace, security, cooperation and friendly relations among nations in conformity with the principle of justice and equal rights. We said then and we wish to reiterate now that the Convention should be fully implemented with due respect for the delicate balance between rights and obligations of States in the provisions of the Convention. We note with satisfaction that the goal of universal participation in the Convention is closely achieved.

                   Viet Nam is committed to respecting, in good faith and through concrete actions, the provisions of the Convention. We have supported  and contributed to  the work of  all the institutions set up by the Convention, namely the International Seabed Authority, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. We commend these bodies for the progress made in their work during recent years.

At the 18th Meeting of States Parties to the Convention last June, important decisions were made regarding the workload of the CLCS, the ability of States, particularly developing States, to fulfill the requirements of article 4 of annex II to the Convention, as well  as the allocation of seats on the CLCS and the ITLOS. My delegation calls on all States Parties to adhere strictly to these decisions and ensure their timely realization.

My Delegation recognizes the contribution of the Open-ended Informal Consultative Process to strengthening the annual debate of the General Assembly on oceans and the law of the sea. We support the efforts to continue the Consultative Process, while stressing the need to improve its efficiency and to give particular attention to the requirements of sustainable development. In this context, my Delegation strongly supports the topic introduced by Group 77 for the coming sessions of the Process.

                  Mr. President,

Being a  developing coastal state bordering a semi-closed sea, Viet Nam attaches great importance to the adoption and the implementation of the policies that promote legitimate and sustainable uses  of the maritime space and resources for economic development, as provided for by the UNCLOS. In these efforts, it is essential for us to work with countries of the region to reach mutual understandings and agreement on cooperative projects. An example could be found in the development and implementation of the Declaration of Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea by the ASEAN member countries and China. The Vietnamese Government strongly believes that the successful implementation of the DOC, including through the joint projects for marine scientific research and rescue of people and vessels in distress at sea, will provide a more conducive environment for peace, stability and economic development in the region.

Viet Nam is one of the 14 States Parties to the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) - the first regional government-to-government agreement to promote and enhance cooperation against piracy and armed robbery in Asia. Cooperational activities required by the ReCAAP, including through the Information Sharing Centre, are now operational and making positive contributions to the improvement of maritime security in the region.

          Finally, my delegation commends the serious efforts made by  many delegations to achieve a consensus text of the resolution on oceans and the law of the sea. We sincerely hope the resolution will be adopted without a vote this year.

                   I thank you, Mr. President.

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