New York (VNA) – A Group of Friends on the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), an initiative by Vietnam and Germany, was launched at a New York event on June 30, with Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Counsel and representatives of 96 member states in attendance.
Speaking at the launching event, Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, thanked participating countries for supporting the initiative. Vietnam is honoured to be among 12 founders of the group of friends and committed to observing and promoting the UNCLOS, UN Charter and international law, he said.
He expected the group will contribute to enhancing understanding of the UNCLOS, sharing good practices in applying the convention in the delimitation of maritime boundaries, peaceful settlement of disputes, and ocean management, thereby supporting the implementation of the UNCLOS and meeting the international community’ common interests.
Soares, for his part, urged all signatories to the UNCLOS to strengthen capacity building to comply with the convention and actively participate in forums about maritime issues.
The event provides an opportunity for UN member states to increase awareness of the importance of sea laws in a way that is beneficial to not only themselves but also the international community, Quy told Vietnam News Agency correspondents after the event.
It is also a forum for heightening the rule of law spirit in solving differences in international relations, he said, adding that it is even more meaningful to Vietnam as it is the first Group of Friends initiated and advocated by the country.
The UN Group of Friends is an open and informal organisation gathering countries sharing same concerns over a certain issue. There are about 90 UN Groups of Friends in various areas at the UN.
Members of the Group of Friends on the UNCLOS come from all over the world, comprising five permanent UN Security Council member states and many nations in Asia Pacific, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, Thailand, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Bangladesh, Australia, and New Zealand./.