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Vietnam chairs meeting of Group of Friends on 1982 UNCLOS

On July 21 (New York time), the Vietnamese mission to the United Nations (UN) hosted an online meeting of the Group of Friends on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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At the online meeting of UNCLOS Friends Group.

The theme of this meeting highlights the importance of the UNCLOS in carrying out UN Sustainable Development Goal No 14 on the conservation and sustainable use of seas and oceans (SDG 14).

The event featured the participation of ambassadors, delegation heads and representatives of more than 120 UN member states.

Upon addressing the event, Malcolm Evans, British Professor of Public International Law at Bristol University said that UNCLOS, the "Charter of the Oceans", is the framework that governs all activities at seas and oceans, ensuring a balance between the need to exploit resources from the sea, and the freedom and the governance of the sea that serves common interests.

Dispute settlement mechanism established under the UNCLOS helps to settle disputes peacefully among countries as a means of promoting understanding of the UNCLOS.

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Malcolm Evans, British Professor of Public International Law at Bristol University addresses the event.

As UNCLOS reflects most of the rules of customary international law that are binding on all countries, the interpretation and application of UNCLOS by courts and arbitral tribunals will be of great importance to all countries, both member and non-member states of UNCLOS, he said.

In addition, UNCLOS can be regularly updated to meet current and future challenges in the sea and ocean fields such as safety and security of the sea, pollution of the marine environment, and exploitation of resources under sea bottom and biodiversity.

Regarding the implementation of SDG 14, Professor Evans went on to say that the SDG14 goals are mainly focused on the issue of "life below water", the benefits for developing and underdeveloped countries from fishing activities. However, the SDG14 goals should be expanded to meet emerging sustainable development needs such as exploiting resources on the seabed, responding to challenges posed by climate change, and sea level rise, the Professor added.

The countries affirmed the central role of UNCLOS and the principle of peaceful dispute settlement, highly appreciating the role of the dispute settlement mechanism established under UNCLOS in promoting a rule-based maritime legal order, thereby contributing to achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs).

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Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN.

Some representatives expressed their desire to soon resume the negotiation process of documents on biodiversity outside the jurisdiction, and show their interest in the use of technology and science in sea and ocean research, exploitation and conservation.

Countries also share challenges such as marine pollution, unsustainable sea and ocean use practices, challenges from climate change, sea level rise, and impacts of maritime disputes regarding sustainable development.

Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN thanked the countries for supporting and attending the meeting.

The Group of Friends will maintain regular activities, thereby helping to increase understanding of UNCLOS, share good practices, and meet the common concerns of the international community, the Ambassador added.

Source: VOV

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