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Statement by Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thanh Ha, Head of the Vietnamese Delegation to the 22nd Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea New York, 8 June 2012
06-14-2012, 04:28 pm

Madame President,

Distinguished delegates,


On behalf of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, I would like to congratulate you on your election as the President of the twenty-second Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. I believe that under your able leadership, the meeting would progress to a successful conclusion.

I would also like to congratulate the newly elected members of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. We hope that with their full commitment and participation to the work of the Commission and the measures adopted by the States Parties in the Decision contained in the document SPLOS/229 of the twenty-first Meeting of States Parties regarding the workload of the Commission, the Commission will be able to fulfil the mandates entrusted to it under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 (UNCLOS).

Madame President,

This year is a very significant year for the States Parties of the UNCLOS. We are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention. We should be proud of being party to this Convention, which is the outcome of  tremendous and committed efforts of the international community in establishing a just international legal order for the uses and management of the oceans and the seas, providing a comprehensive framework for the maintenance of peace and stability, the promotion of maritime economic development, the rational exploitation and conservation of marine natural resources and environment in all maritime areas under or beyond national jurisdiction.

After 30 years the UNCLOS has become one of the most universal treaty with 162 States Parties from all parts of the globe. By adopting the Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the Convention and the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the Convention relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, the international community has shown further committed efforts in improving the legal regimes set out by the Convention.

The UNCLOS provides a good balance of rights and duties of States Parties and does not allow reservations to be made to any provision. States Parties to the Convention are therefore obliged to fully implement the UNCLOS in good faith and a responsible manner, to respect the legitimate rights entitled to coastal States Parties in their territorial seas, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf under the Convention, to cooperate for the development of marine scientific research, the optimum exploitation of living resources, the conservation of the marine environment, and to manage the international seabed in the interests of the mankind.

The UNCLOS regulates different legal regimes of the oceans and seas and many types of activities of states. Disputes relating to the interpretation and implementation of the Convention may occur at any time. In order to ensure the peaceful settlement of those disputes, procedures and mechanisms for dispute settlement have been included Part XV of the Convention. States Parties are obliged to implement Part XV to settle disputes relating to the Convention among themselves.

Viet Nam takes this opportunity to call on the non-States Parties to consider joining the UNCLOS to make it even more universally recognized and implemented.

Madame President,

Viet Nam signed the Convention on the very first day it was open for signature. After Viet Nam ratified the Convention in 1994, we have made great efforts to transform the rights and obligations provided for in the Convention into national legislation. In compliance with the provisions of the Convention, Viet Nam has established its territorial seas, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in the Eastern Sea (the South China Sea) and carried out activities of exploration,  exploitation and conservation of the sea and its natural resources for national economic development. Like for many other countries, the maritime areas under national sovereignty and jurisdiction are of vital security and economic interests for us. Viet Nam would continue to fully implement the provisions of the UNCLOS as regard to its maritime zones and settlement of disputes therein, and call on other states to do likewise. Viet Nam firmly believes that the observance of the UNCLOS by all States Parties in the South China Sea would be fundamental to maintain an environment of peace, security and friendly cooperation for the coastal states as well as other users of the South China Sea.

I thank you, Madame President. 

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