VN, Philippines rate maritime and ocean issues cooperation vital
17:23 | 20/11/2015

VGP – Viet Nam and the Philippines have vowed to strengthen bilateral and regional cooperation between and among agencies responsible for maritime law enforcement and maritime safety, recognizing that maritime and ocean issues are vital aspects of bilateral cooperation.

The agreement was part of the Joint Statement on establishing strategic partnership signed on November 17 in Manila.

The two countries will convene the Joint Commission on Maritime and Ocean Cooperation at the Vice-Minister level at least once every two years or as requested by either side and hosted alternately between the two countries. 

Through the Joint Commission, they will develop joint projects and activities to promote cooperation in all aspects of maritime and ocean-related affairs taking into account their obligations under international law particularly UNCLOS. The Joint Commission will conduct regular monitoring on the incremental progress of the agreed projects.

Both nations will continue initiatives between Viet Nam Coast Guard and the Philippine Coast Guard and other related agencies of both countries, including but not limited to maintaining the hotline between both agencies, taking prompt implementation and regular assessments of existing cooperation agreements on oil spill preparedness and response, and search and rescue at sea.

Viet Nam and the Philippines will also continue enhancing the current cooperation arrangements in the field of fisheries to include such activities as exchange of experts and information on marine aquaculture techniques and capacity-building for fishermen to ensure the protection and sustainable management of the marine resources within their respective maritime jurisdictions and in accordance with the applicable laws.

They will maintain the hotline between Viet Nam’s Department of Fisheries Resources Surveillance and the Philippines’ Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated Fishing (IUUF).

The two ASEAN members will also promote maritime cooperation in the East Sea, including the conduct of appropriate joint activities in mutually agreed areas in the East Sea in the spirit of forging closer friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

By Huong Giang

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