Berlin (EAST SEA) Monday, November 6th, 2023 / 09:23 AM

Dutch PM attends roundtable on international law, order at sea in Hanoi

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte visited the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV) and delivered a speech at a round-table conference on “International Law and Order at Sea” co-hosted by the DAV and the Clingendael Institute of the Netherlands in Hanoi on November 2.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte speaks at the event. (Photo: VNA)

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte visited the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV) and delivered a speech at a roundtable on “International Law and Order at Sea” co-hosted by the DAV and the Clingendael Institute of the Netherlands in Hanoi on November 2.

PM Rutte also presented certificates to students of the second Law of the Sea course co-hosted by the DAV and the Clingendael Institute from October 30 to November 2, as part of the “Train the Trainers” programme to improve diplomatic capabilities between the two sides.

In his speech, PM Rutte underscored the importance of upholding the rule of law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Speaking highly of cooperation prospects between Vietnam and the Netherlands, he pledged to maintain existing partnerships while expanding potential collaboration in other areas.

Judge Horinouchi Hidehisa, from the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), affirmed that the 1982 UNCLOS is the “Constitution of the Oceans,” and therefore, all issues related to maritime law must develop in accordance with the 1982  UNCLOS.

He stressed the need to expand the scope of maritime law to encompass new horizons, such as emerging technologies (unmanned vehicles), sustainable and efficient exploration of uncharted seabed areas, while still working on improving legal frameworks to address traditional issues in the field.

Prof. Alfred H.A. Soons from the Netherlands’ Utrecht University underlined the importance of dispute settlement mechanism in the UNCLOS. He said countries need to continue developing and clarifying UNCLOS provisions in the context of technological and, socio-economic advancements.

In his presentation, Dr. Seline Trevisanut from the Utrecht University mentioned the impacts of climate change on international law and order at sea, including issues related to the climate, ocean usage, climate and human rights, and climate-induced migration.

Dr. Nguyen Thi Lan Anh, Director of the East Sea Institute under the DAV, emphasized the importance of UNCLOS, the dispute solving mechanism in the UNCLOS and affirmed that the UNCLOS is the only legal basis for marine rights and claims.

In the context of many changes in the world, the UNCLOS is still a “living document” that can continue to be improved and is a comprehensive legal framework to manage activities at sea.

Dr. Pham Lan Dung, DAV’s Acting Director, affirmed the importance of protecting the marine order established since the launch of the UNCLOS and upholding the rules-based spirit.

She highly appreciated new advances in international law to address emerging challenges and disputes at sea through peaceful means, while noting that there are still many cases of disregard for marine law, which threaten security at sea and increase the risk of conflicts such as the recent situation in the East Sea.

At the sideline of the conference, the DAV held an exhibition of maps of Vietnam and Southeast Asia countries dated from the 16th-17th centuries which were presented by the Dutch embassy in Hanoi.

On the afternoon of November 2, the Dutch Prime Minister visited the Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for the Gifted which is an important symbol of the cooperation between the Netherlands and Vietnam./.

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