Kuala Lumpur (VNA) - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has a central role to play in the settlement of East Sea issues, with the international norms and behaviours being stated in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), wrote a recent article published on the news site Latestmalaysia.com.
The article affirmed the role of the ruling on the waters issued on July 12, 2016 by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), which is based in The Hague (the Netherlands).
However, the security situation in the region is at risk despite the parties’ efforts to maintain stability through collective measures and activities, it pointed out.
Threats are from maritime terrorism, piracy, unlawful intrusions into territorial waters, and illegal fishing. There is also trafficking of drugs, weapons and human. Illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing activities also threaten marine life as well as heighten tensions between states.
Port infrastructure and commercial shipping are also increasingly vulnerable to regional piracy and maritime terrorism, according to the article.
To tone down from the recent increase in military and occupation activities, there is a need for collective actions from ASEAN, especially the ASEAN unity along with multilateral mechanisms.
Furthermore, not only its members but also outsiders should respect ASEAN-led mechanisms, the article stated.
In the White Defense Paper 2021, for the first time, Brunei has mentioned the convention as an important tool to resolve the disputes in the region. The ASEAN Chair 2021 said efforts must be made to define accepted norms and behaviours under international law, namely UNCLOS.
The writing also indicated that the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) in its entirety is necessary, as well as ensuring substantive progress is made in the negotiations towards an early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct (COC) in the waters./.