KHÁNH HOÀ -- Government officials and scholars from 22 countries and international organizations gathered in the central coastal city of Nha Trang on Thursday to kick off the first activity to implement the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) ministerial statement on cooperation among maritime law enforcement agencies.
A two-day workshop themed “ARF Workshop on Enhancing Regional Maritime Law Enforcement Cooperation”, sought measures to boost regional law enforcement cooperation to tackle challenges on the sea, which have been threatening international trade, natural resources and people’s livelihoods.
Citing emerging challenges in the Asia-Pacific region, such as piracy, drug-trafficking, human trafficking and illegal fishing, Việt Nam’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyễn Quốc Dũng emphasized the role of maritime law enforcement agencies and the importance of cooperation among them to prevent and respond to those challenges.
According to Dũng, the effective performance of duties by these agencies contributes to each country’s pursuit of its national maritime interests in terms of three areas: maritime security, maritime safety, and the development of maritime resources. It also guarantees that they are pursued in accordance with international law.
Cooperation of law enforcement agencies in the region has faced difficulty due to different regulations for maritime law enforcement agencies among countries. Additionally, some maritime territorial disputes remain unresolved.
A prerequisite for effective cooperation was mutual trust, achieved based on measures introduced at regional mechanisms like ARF, Dũng said.
He said the workshop was of great significance for achieving peace, stability, security and safety for all seas and oceans. He claimed that it affirmed the commitment of all parties to building law-based regional order.
It was co-organized by the Việt Nam Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Australian government and the European Union.
ARF was established in 1994 with the goals of building confidence and fostering dialogues in the region, with ASEAN as a central player. Việt Nam is a founding member of ARF. (VNS)