Tiếng Việt


“All Countries Have an Obligation to Protect the Marine Environment, Even When Sovereignty Is Disputed”

This is the thesis put forward by Belgium Professor Pierre Klei at the international “New Developments in International Maritime Law, International and Vietnamese Perspectives” workshop, which was hosted by DTU and the Vietnamese National University (VNU) School of Law in Hanoi. They were supported by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation from Belgium, the Wallonia-Brussels General Delegation to Vietnam and the Center for International Law at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Belgium.

 Các Qu?c gia d?u có Nghia v? B?o v? Môi tru?ng Bi?n dù v?n dang Tranh ch?p Ch? quy?n
On behalf of the ULB, Belgium, Prof. Dr Pierre Klei (right) gifted the VNU School of Law with research documentation on the seas and on maritime law.  Photo: T.N

The rights and duties of states concerning maritime environmental protection

Professor Klei shared his concerns about the sensitive issue that nations have the duty to protect the maritime environment, despite sovereignty disputes. He argued that, although the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also known as the Montego Bay Convention of 1982, covers many maritime issues, sovereignty rights are barely mentioned in international resolutions. 

Professor Klei stressed that the 2016 Dutch PCA resolution clearly states that China’s claim to historic rights to all resources inside the “nine-dash line” in the South China Sea is incompatible with the rulings of the convention. It strongly condemns China’s claim that they own 90% of the area but have no legal basis for doing so.

The UNCLOS researcher from the ULB also provided evidence relevant to Asia, namely that maritime environmental protection has more significance in the case of the “South China Sea dispute, as it is the basis of many arguments and requests from the Philippines”.

Clarifying the latest developments in international maritime law from research based on international and Vietnamese practices

Các Qu?c gia d?u có Nghia v? B?o v? Môi tru?ng Bi?n dù v?n dang Tranh ch?p Ch? quy?n 
This was the first workshop to clarify recent developments on this vital issue. It was held in Danang, in an area of Vietnam which includes the Hoang Sa district of the Paracel Islands. Several exhibitions have already been held in Danang, with photos, maps and other materials from archives in libraries worldwide, relating to the sovereignty of the Paracel and Spratly Islands, which the city made available to the convention. 

Các Qu?c gia d?u có Nghia v? B?o v? Môi tru?ng Bi?n dù v?n dang Tranh ch?p Ch? quy?n
The workshop in session

“Today’s workshop will help to evaluate the development of international maritime law concerning the South China Sea, in order to meet the requirements of safeguarding our national sovereignty and meanwhile maintain regional and worldwide peace and stability,” said DTU Vice-Provost, Dr. Vo Thanh Hai.

Associate Professor Nguyen Thi Que Anh, Dean of the VNU School of Law, confirmed that the workshop was aimed at providing valuable, current information to Vietnamese law-makers and universities. The workshop was a combination of the framework of the VNU School of Law’s Master’s Program in Maritime Law and Management and a Wallonia-Brussels Federation project, from 2016 to 2018, to assist Vietnam on the issue.
The results of the workshop will provide complementary lecturing and researching documentation to the VNU School of Law, to DTU, to institutions engaged in education and research of maritime law, maritime management, and international maritime shipping, and to diplomatic academies.

(Media Center)