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Statement by Mr. Nguyen Duy Chien, Representative of Viet Nam at the joint debate of the General Assembly 64th Session on agenda item 78: “Oceans and the Law of the Sea”
12-04-2009, 12:48 pm


by Mr. Nguyen Duy Chien, Representative of Viet Nam

 at the joint debate

 of the General Assembly 64th Session on agenda item 78:

“Oceans and the Law of the Sea”

 New York, 4 December 2009



                      Mr. President,


At the outset, my delegation wishes to welcome the continued consideration by the General Assembly of the agenda item relating to developments in ocean affairs and the law of the sea. We thank the Secretary-General and the Secretariat, in particular the Division of Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, for the Reports on the Oceans and the Law of the Sea and on Sustainable Fisheries. We should also thank the two coordinators, Ambassador Henrique Rodrigues Valle of Brazil and Ms. Holly R. Koehler of the United States, for their hard work in conducting the negotiations on the two draft resolutions presented under this agenda item.


Mr. President,


The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (or the UNCLOS) provides a comprehensive and sound legal framework for all oceans issues and ocean related activities. The nearly universal acceptance of the UNCLOS by the international community demonstrates our cherished goals of promoting the optimum uses of the world’s oceans and seas in conformity with the principles of justice and equal rights. Every effort must be made to fully implement the UNCLOS, with due respect for the delicate balance between rights and obligations of States in its provisions.

                   Viet Nam commends the International Seabed Authority, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf for the great amount of work they have assumed in the past year. We note with satisfaction the efforts of States Parties to the UNCLOS, especially developing countries, to fulfill their obligation of making submissions to the CLCS, or informing the Commission of their intention to make submissions, establishing the outer limits of their continental shelf beyond 200 miles. Viet Nam is of the view that every submission made to the CLCS by the States Parties should be considered by the CLCS in accordance with the provisions of the UNCLOS. The CLCS now has a clearer picture in organizing its working schedules and will need our stronger support to accomplish its heavy work load in the years ahead.


At the 19th Meeting of States Parties to the UNCLOS in June 2009, thanks to the flexibility shown by all regional groups of States, important decisions were made regarding the allocation of seats on the CLCS and the ITLOS. My Delegation calls on all States Parties to the UNCLOS to adhere strictly to these decisions in the future elections of these bodies.


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. At the 10th meeting of the Consultative Process, Member States made great efforts in assessing the achievements and shortcomings of the past nine meetings and in recommending the way to move the Process forward. My Delegation fully supports the views expressed by the Group of 77 and China that the Process should be carried out in full accordance with the UNCLOS, taking into account of the agreements reached at the UN Conference on Environment and Development, particularly Chapter 17 of Agenda 21.  


Proceeding from the above mentioned assessment of all developments relating to oceans and the law of the sea, the Government of Vietnam supports the two draft resolutions on which the General Assembly will take action today.  


Mr. President,


Being a  developing coastal state bordering the South China Sea, known to all Vietnamese people as the Eastern Sea, Viet Nam attaches great importance to adopting and implementing policies that promote legitimate and sustainable uses  of the maritime space and resources for economic development, as provided for by the UNCLOS. It is no secret that maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea not only meets the interests of the states adjacent to this important sea area, but also makes valuable contribution to  peace and security of the world. It is, therefore, essential for all states in the South China Sea region to work together more closely in order to reach mutual understandings, to make the South China Sea a peaceful and stable zone. The conclusion and implementation of the Declaration of Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) by the ASEAN member countries and China constitutes a significant step in this direction.


The Vietnamese Government strongly believes that the successful implementation of the DOC and the elaboration and adoption of a Code of Conducts in the South China Sea, which fully respect the legal framework provided by the UNCLOS, will provide a more conducive environment for peace, stability and economic development in the region.  For its part, the Government of Vietnam is committed to making every  effort to work with all neighboring States for the sake of peace, stability and prosperity of all peoples sharing the South China Sea.


I thank you, Mr. President.

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