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Vietnam sends clear message in UNSC maritime security debate: int’l experts
Minh Vu 19:18, 2021/08/12
Vietnam has been seeking peaceful solutions for the maritime disputes while demanding rules-based approach in addressing the threats.

Vietnam has affirmed its crystal clear stance on maritime security and the need of multilateralism in addressing threats.

Such stance was embodied in a message, which was conveyed in Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s speech at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) open debate on “Enhancing Maritime Security – A Case for International Cooperation” held on August 9.

At the debate – the first of its kind by the UNSC – chaired by India, Chinh said Vietnam is determined to pursue the independent and multilateral diplomacy and get ready to contribute to dialogues and trust building with other countries to maintain maritime security.

The Vietnam News Agency (VNA) cited international experts’ opinions on the message that the PM has conveyed.

 Dr Takashi Hosoda, Faculty of Social Science, Charles University, Czech. Photos: VNA

Dr Takashi Hosoda, Faculty of Social Science, Charles University, Czech said Chinh’s speech has highlighted the importance of awareness of seas and maritime security threats, putting it as the matter of concerns not only for Vietnam but India, Japan, the US, and European countries.

To improve such awareness, Vietnam needs to make specific contributions to the bilateral and multilateral maritime cooperation, including the EU Critical Maritime Route Wider Indian Ocean (CRIMARIO) project launched in 2015 to improve maritime security and safety, the Vietnam News Agency cited Hosoda.

For that reason, Vietnam needs to intensify investment in maritime and air patrol capacity and seismic survey vessels, Hosoda said, adding that Vietnam should spearhead in ASEAN in terms of improving awareness of maritime security through bilateral and multilateral cooperation mechanisms as well as other countries of the mutual concerns.

 Dr. Gerhard Will, former expert on the South China Sea at German Institute for Political Science

Dr. Gerhard Will, former expert on the South China Sea (called East Sea by Vietnam) at German Institute for Political Science, said Chinh reiterated Vietnam’s stance on ensuring maritime security, solving disputes, and suggesting solutions, showing the country’s important role in maintaining peace and stability in the region.

It indicates that Vietnam is a responsible member in addressing common challenges. “Vietnam understands that maritime security is a common issue that cannot be solved by a single country, but requires regional and international cooperation and consensus, from awareness to action,” Will noted.

He lauded Vietnam’s suggestion to set up a network of maritime security-related mechanisms and initiatives to be coordinated by the United Nations to share the views and make joint efforts against global challenges.

 Prof. Dr. Jörg Thomas Engelbert, Institute for Asian and African Studies, Humburg University, Germany.

Prof. Dr. Jörg Thomas Engelbert, Institute for Asian and African Studies, Humburg University, Germany said Vietnam’s suggestions, which help promote security, stability, and free navigation in the region, are similar to those by big countries like India, Japan, and the US.

Engelbert said Vietnam is one of the main claimants in the South China Sea disputes and advocates that the disputes should be solved in a peaceful manner. The country, in fact, has been seeking peaceful solutions for the disputes.

Prof. Giuseppe Cataldi, Vice-President of the University of Naples, Italy, agreed with Vietnam that the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982 provides a comprehensive legal framework governing all activities and uses of the world’s seas and oceans.

He highlighted Vietnam's stance to advocate for increased dialogue, cooperation and respect for international law and UNCLOS, and for complying with the convention's regulations and avoiding complicating the situation.

 Jan Hornát, Institute of International Studies at Charles University, Czech

Meanwhile, Jan Hornát, Institute of International Studies at Charles University, Czech, said Vietnam has been active in contributing to the maintenance of maritime security, the topic that has caught public attention over the time.

Its efforts help raise Vietnam’s image on international forums with a focus on maintaining rules-based approach in the region, especially UNCLOS, Hornát added.

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