11th South China Sea (East Sea) International Conference: Cooperation for Regional Peace and Development

On 6-7 November 2019, the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV), Foundation for East Sea Studies (FESS), and Vietnam Lawyers’ Association (VLA) jointly held 11th South China Sea (East Sea) International Conference themed “Cooperation for Regional Security and Development” in the capital of Ha Noi, Viet Nam. 280 delegates, including about 90  international scholars, 70 representatives from nearly 40 foreign diplomatic missions to Vietnam, more than 120 Vietnamese delegates and scholars, along with a number of reporters from about 60 media outlets inside and outside Vietnam attended the conference.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the conference, Associate Professor, PhD Nguyen Vu Tung, President of Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam said after 10 years of sucessful conferences, the South China Sea international conference has been recognized as a prestigious academic event on the South China Sea which scholars are eager to attend. It has attracted attention from leading experts in the region and the world to discuss about the maritime security, law of the sea, economic development, and environment protection. The conference has become a rendez-vous for participants to connect and share common concerns over the region and South China Sea. It has nurtured motivation for South China Sea studies inside and outside Vietnam.

In his keynote address to the conference, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Le Hoai Trung affirmed the important role of South China Sea as an area of many crucial and dynamic sea lines in the world and an bridge of commercial connections between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific as well as between Asia and the Oceania. The South China Sea is also a component of many important regional initiatives. Thus, maintainence of peace, stability, cooperation and development in the South China Sea is the shared interest and responsibility of both regional countries and the international community.

This year’s conference was the most significant congregation armed with 6 plenaries and 6 parallel roundtables. 6 roundtables are as follows: (i) Roundtable 1: Reducing grey areas for better management; (ii) Roundtable 2: Preserving fish stock for next generations; (iii) Roundtable 3: Saving the ocean from pollution; (iv) Roundtable 4: Contests in East China Sea; (v) Roundtable 5: The Indian and Pacific: The convergence of two oceans; (vi) Roundtable 6: Polar Regions: New Frontiers.

After 2 days of intensive work in an open, friendly, and frank discussions, the 11th South China Sea international conference concluded with success. 47 presentations and 250 questions, observations, and comments have been presented to show contributions and commitments international and local scholars for the maintainence of peace, stability and development in the South China Sea.