Former chief of the Government Border Committee Tran Cong Truc


Former chief of the Government Border CommitteeTran Cong Truc, the first person in Asia to translate the UNCLOS 1982, said theNational Assembly of Vietnam issued a resolution on June 23, 1994 ratifying theconvention.

Through the application of this convention,Vietnam has achieved a lot of success in both the legal aspect and the exerciseand protection of its rights and interests in the East Sea.

From the early days the convention was drafted,Vietnam had sent experts and representatives joining this process.

Before the UNCLOS was born, Vietnam applied therelevant provisions of international law to develop and issue domestic legaldocuments on the sea, including the Government’s declaration on Vietnamesewaters.

Following the signing of the UNCLOS in MontegoBay, Jamaica in 1982, Vietnam applied and announced the baseline used tocalculate the width of the Vietnamese continental shelf.

With the ratification of the UNCLOS on June 23,1994, Vietnam proved itself a responsible and active member.

To specify the contents of the UNCLOS 1982, in2012, Vietnam passed the Law of the Sea of Vietnam, which was built based entirelyon the principles and content of the convention with more specific regulationsin accordance with the situation, policy and marine strategy of Vietnam.

The legalisation of the UNCLOS 1982 by the Lawof the Sea 2012 helped Vietnam have a firm legal foundation for handling allmaritime disputes and activities on waters of Vietnam’s sovereignty, sovereignrights and jurisdiction in the East Sea.

Evaluating Vietnam’s endeavours in implementingthe UNCLOS and promoting international cooperation at sea, Pham Lan Dung,Secretary General of Vietnam Society of International Law (VSIL), said Vietnamhas improved the national legal system based on stipulations of UNCLOS 1982 andissued more than 10 relevant laws and legal documents, especially the Law ofthe Sea 2012 – which was built in harmony with UNCLOS regulations.

Vietnam has made efforts to conduct maritimedelimitation with countries in the region based on the principles of theconvention, Dung said, adding that this is an important part of the convention,contributing to the creation of a peaceful and stable environment amongnations, ensuring countries have maritime zones prescribed by the conventionand can conduct exploitation and preservation of natural resources in thosewaters.

Dung added that Vietnam has always seriously implementedthe rights and obligations of coastal countries according to the convention. In2009, Vietnam completed a report on defining the outer limits of thecontinental shelf of Vietnam in the East Sea and submitted it to the UNCommission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.

Vietnam also established a national committee onsearch and rescue in 1996 and is a member of theInternational Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue. 

The Southeast Asian country has actively participatedin activities within the framework of international mechanisms establishedunder the convention. Vietnam is a member of the International Seabed Authority(ISA) and was elected vice president of the general assembly of the ISA.

Vietnam has also engaged in building regionaland international legal documents related to seas, such as the International MaritimeSatellite Organization (INMARSAT) and the Global Maritime Distress SafetySystem (GMDSS).

According to Dung, the application of international law toaddress marine disputes between countries is a civilised solution in line withthe rule of law, ensuring equal opportunities for all countries before law.

When disputes arise, negotiation is the first measure thatcountries should do according to international law and UNCLOS 1982, she said.-VNA