Presented at the workshop were international experts from the UK: Commander James Farrant and Commander Ian Park, both maritime legal advisors from the UK Ministry of Defence and from Japan is Dr Shotaro Hamamoto, professor from Kyoto University. Local experts include Dr. Pham Lan Dung, Director General, The Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam and Dr. Nguyen Dang Thang, member of the Vietnam society of international law.
The workshop aimed to discuss the important of maintaining peace and security in the maritime region and propose effective mechanisms for international cooperation in encouraging respect for international law.
At the opening of the conference, Ambassador Nguyen Truong Giang, Director General, Bien Dong Maritime Institute said that “at this hard time, the international community is facing the hard question of whether they want peace, stability and prosperity or turbulence, instability and misery? If we want peace, stability and prosperity, we need to uphold the rule of law, we have to respect international law.”
H.E Kunio Umeda, Ambassador to of Japan to Vietnam highlighted the “increasing number of cases where interests of countries clash with each other, and there is growing concern about unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force”. Ambassador Umeda “hoped that the workshop would nurture the shared view of the importance of Rule of Law in maintain peace and stability in Asia.” Ambassador Umeda urged every participant to reflect on how countries can cooperate to promote and encourage the respect of the rule of law.
Ambassador H.E. Giles Lever, UK Ambassador to Vietnam stressed “stability in the region is a matter of global concern and international law is central to solving disputes”. Ambassador Lever also said “for the UK, upholding the Rule of Law and UNCLOS is important to our values and policies”. Ambassador Lever also highlighted the UK’s experience in respecting the Rule of Law, particularly UNCLOS.
The workshop participants, approximately 70 will represent a variety of disciplines including the Vietnamese Communist Party institutions, Government Ministries, Academia, and the Diplomatic community in Hanoi. PSN