HAIKOU, CHINA / ACCESSWIRE / November 12, 2020 / Former President of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, Michael Lodge, and Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, founding member of the Asian Institute of International Law, were among hundreds of experts from around the globe calling for a multilateral approach to improving ocean governance and enhanced cooperation at the November 5-6 2020 Symposium on Maritime Cooperation and Ocean Governance. Teresa Cheng argued that an 'Asian approach' to foster mutual trust through peaceful coexistence was preferred.
In her keynote speech, Former Philippines President Madam Arroyo stressed the necessity to adopt a multifaceted perspective and multi-dimensional approach in dealing with China-Philippine relations. She held the view that joint development does not undermine the legal right to the claims of related disputants of the South China Sea and called for promoting functional cooperation, including fishery resources management, so as to protect environmental sustainability and enhance prosperity.
Teresa Cheng, founding member of the Asian Institute of International Law, argued that 'the intervention of external actors only aggravates the regional tension,' asserting that 'the western approach of relying on confrontation and international law' stood in stark contrast to 'the Asian approach based on mutual understanding [that] is more conducive to fostering mutual trust and cooperation through peaceful coexistence.'
She further underlined that the signing of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in 2002 and the negotiation of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) since 2013 have fully demonstrated that the key to peace and stability in the South China Sea is the interest in coordination and pragmatic cooperation among relevant parties in the region.
While many parts of the world are still mired in a Covid-19 emergency, Fu Ying, Chairwoman of the Center for International Strategy and Security at Tsinghua University, reminded attendees of the 'urgency to enhance global governance and improve the efficiency of international coordination mechanisms, which is also the case for ocean governance,' emphasizing that 'multilateralism is the only approach.'
Fu, who is also China's Former Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, encouraged a 'harmonious coexistence between the ocean and human beings' to achieve peace and stability across regional countries. She stressed a 'dual-track approach' as the most realistic way to resolve and manage South China Sea challenges.
International Seabed Authority Secretary-General, Michael Lodge, reiterated the Authority's essential role in following an evolutionary and incremental approach to regulation formation and adopting an exhaustive process of consultation and contributions from many different interests, including the challenges brought about by high demand for seabed minerals in the global green economy. He said that 'global governance should be based on the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits.'
Symposium organizer, Dr. Wu Shicun, President of National Institute for South China Sea Studies (NISCSS) and Chairman of the Board of China-Southeast Asia Research Center on the South China Sea (CSARC), called to move against a trend of deglobalization, establish an international academic platform dedicated to a plethora of marine issues, and to pool wisdom towards a shared and sustainable future.
The two-day event embraced several topics, including new ideas and initiatives for global ocean governance, maritime security cooperation, research on maritime issues, and recent South China Sea development.
Co-organized by NISCSS and the CSARC, and the Institute for China-America Studies (ICAS), the 1st Symposium on Maritime Cooperation and Ocean Governance was held in Haikou, the capital city of Hainan Province. The event was sponsored by the prominent China Institute of the University of Alberta. Experts, scholars, diplomats, and representatives from international organizations, in all over 500 participants from 30 countries and regions, were in attendance, either in person or via video conference.
Maritime Cooperation and Ocean Governance: https://youtu.be/LaHDoXVozrY
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SOURCE: NISCSS (National Institute for South China Sea Studies)
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