International law must be upheld in East Sea, says Vietnamese Deputy PM

(VOVWORLD) - Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh has stressed the importance of respecting international law as the most effective measure to prevent conflicts and seek sustainable solutions to disputes. 
International law must be upheld in East Sea, says Vietnamese Deputy PM - ảnh 1 Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister  Pham Binh Minh speaks at the general debate of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, the US, September 28, 2019. (Photo: VNA)

Addressing the UN General Assembly in New York on Saturday, Mr. Minh, also Vietnam’s Foreign Minister, said Vietnam supports all efforts to solve conflicts through peaceful methods in accordance with the UN Charter and international law, including negotiation, conciliation and judicial settlement.

"We urge relevant parties in the South Sea to respect international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), appropriately referred to as the Constitution for the Oceans,” Mr. Minh said.

“Linking the Indian and Pacific oceans, the South China Sea is strategically important to peace, security, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. Efforts by relevant states  have yielded positive outcomes in settling differences and disputes.”

“However, Vietnam has on many occasions voiced its concerns over the recent, complicated developments in the South China Sea, including serious incidents that infringed upon Vietnam’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction in our maritime zones as defined by UNCLOS. Relevant states should exercise self-restraint and refrain from conducting unilateral acts which may complicate or escalate tensions at sea, and settle disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS,” said the Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.

The South China Sea is known in Vietnam as the East Sea.

Mr. Minh emphasized the need to reaffirm the important role of international law and the UN Charter in building a rule-based world order and enhancing international relations and multilateral cooperation. International law is the foundation of equal relations between states, he said.   

Mr. Minh also underlined multilateralism, saying multilateral cooperation has a special place in Vietnam’s foreign policy as well as in its renewal, development, and international integration.

“Vietnam has been an active and constructive partner in multilateral processes. We are working with other ASEAN member states to enhance ASEAN’s centrality in promoting peace, security, and prosperity in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

“Vietnam is strongly committed to the full implementation of the 2030 agenda and the Paris Agreement and in particular is taking concrete steps to end single-used plastic by 2025. Vietnam is honored to have been elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. As a member of the Council, Vietnam will do our best to work with the broader UN membership towards the ultimate goal of sustainable peace and development,” Mr. Minh noted.   

He said as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 term and next year’s ASEAN Chair next year, Vietnam will prioritize cooperation with the UN and regional organizations, particularly in preventing conflicts and promoting sustainable peace.