Vietnam announces first-ever candidate to International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea


- Photo: Voice of Vietnam File

HANOI: Associate Prof Dr Nguyen Thi Lan Anh (pic), Director General of the East Sea Institute under the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, will be Vietnam's candidate to the position of Judge of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) for the 2026-35 tenure, Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Minh Vu officially announced.

The candidate was introduced at the 34th meeting of States Parties to the UNCLOS (SPLOS-34) held in New York from June 10-14.

During the event, Deputy FM Vu, head of the Vietnamese delegation, chaired an international seminar on sea level rise in the Pacific and the annual meeting of the Group of Friends of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Convention's entry into force.

The seminar, organised by Vietnam in collaboration with a number of member countries of the UNCLOS Group of Friends, including Fiji, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Oman, with the co-sponsorship of Australia, Canada, Germany, the Philippines, and Singapore, drew about 100 delegates and experts on the law of the sea from more than 60 countries, as well as scholars and representatives from a number of UN agencies.

Addressing the seminar, Vu highlighted the historical significance of UNCLOS to the development of international law.

As the "Constitution of Oceans", UNCLOS is the most comprehensive legal framework that regulates all activities of countries in the field of seas and oceans, and serves as a basis for countries to cooperate in management of oceans and seas in an orderly and sustainable manner.

Vietnam will continue to work with the 115 members of the Group of Friends in implementing and protecting the universality of UNCLOS, the diplomat affirmed.

At the seminar, Vietnamese legal experts including Associate Prof Dr Nguyen Thi Lan Anh and Associate Prof Dr Nguyen Hong Thao, a member of the International Law Commission (ILC), shared their assessments from the perspective of Vietnam - a coastal country most affected by climate change, including the risk of sea level rise.

They stressed the need to continue to comply with and fully implement the provisions of UNCLOS in the process of resolving emerging challenges in current sea and ocean governance such as marine environmental pollution, climate change and sea level rise, while calling for support to the preservation of baselines, boundaries of maritime zones established from baselines and maritime delimitation results agreed by countries through negotiations or established by decisions of international judicial agencies in order to maintain stability and legal order at sea.

The seminar, organised following Vietnam's initiatives, is one of the important contributions in preparation for the upcoming UN Summit on sea level rise slated for September.

Established in 2021, the UNCLOS Group of Friends was initiated and co-chaired by Vietnam and Germany.

It currently has 115 members from all regions, including 12 core countries responsible for coordinating the group's activities. — Vietnam News/ANN

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