by Ambassador Hoang Chi Trung, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam at the joint debate of the General Assembly 62nd Session on agenda item 79 (a) and (b): Oceans and the Law of the Sea
New York, 10th December 2007
The oceans and the seas are becoming more and more vital frontiers of our efforts for sustained economic growth and sustainable development. Since the historic entry into force of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1994, the United Nations Member States, most of whom are States Parties to the Convention, have made tireless efforts to enhance the management of the exploration and exploitation of the oceans and seas in the interests of mankind. My delegation, therefore, welcomes the opportunity to participate in this debate and attributes high significance to the topic under discussion.
My delegation takes note of the Report of the Secretary-General on the Oceans and the law of the sea, which had served as a good basis for the discussions at the 17th Meeting of UNCLOS States Parties and the 8th Meeting of the Open-Ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea in June this year. The comprehensive contents of the Report as well as the views expressed by the States at the two mentioned meetings show that there exist still many issues which deserve our serious attention and require further international cooperation for sustainable solutions.
The UNCLOS has, in effect, provided a comprehensive and sound international legal order for the oceans and seas, thus contributing to the strengthening of peace, security, cooperation and friendly relations among nations, in conformity with the principle of justice and equal rights. This Constitution of the Oceans is well known as a balanced package, in which competing interests had to be reconciled. It is in our common interest to try to preserve the integrity of the Convention.
The Government of Viet Nam attaches great importance and significance to the Convention and is always committed to respecting, in good faith and through concrete actions, its provisions. In applying the provisions of the Convention, we believe that not a single State Party can avoid differences or disputes with other States. That is why for us, exchanges of views for better mutual understanding and promoting cooperative projects in keeping with the provisions of the Convention have been considered preferable. In this spirit of cooperation and respect for the rule of law, Viet Nam has joined China and the ASEAN countries in implementing the Declaration of Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea. The Vietnamese Government strongly believes that the successful realization of the DOC, particularly through the joint projects for marine scientific research and rescue of people and vessels in distress at sea that have been discussed among the DOC parties, will provide a more conducive environment for peace, stability and economic development in the region.
We share the assessment of many coastal states that enhancing maritime safety and security is vital for the development of international navigation and communication. We have, therefore, joined countries in our region to elaborate and bring into force the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP). In implementation of this Agreement, Viet Nam is undertaking information sharing through the Information Sharing Centre in Singapore and developing other forms of cooperation with its members.
My Delegation has followed closely the negotiations of this Session’s draft resolutions on the Law of the Sea and Sustainable Fisheries. We are pleased to note that, in spite of numerous diverging views and concerns, which have made the negotiations very difficult and time consuming, we have managed to finalize the texts of the draft resolutions before us. My Delegation supports the adoption by the General Assembly of these resolutions.
I thank you, Mr. President.