On November 16, 1994, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea took effect after 60 countries had ratified it. The 5th session of the National Assembly, 9th Legislature, of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam approved the Resolution ratifying the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. On June 23, 1994, Viet Nam was the 64th country to have ratified this Convention.
On July 28, 1994, the 101st Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly passed the Resolution and the Agreement on implementation of Part XI of the 1982 Convention and Viet Nam also voted to approve the Resolution and Agreement.
The 1982 Convention is judged as the most important legal document after World War II, only second to the UN Charter. This is the legal document of comprehensive character, covering all the important issues on the legal system of the sea and ocean, meeting the interests of all the UN member countries. The approval of the 1982 Convention can be regarded as an important step in establishment of order on the sea.
As for Viet Nam, the 1982 Convention is of special significance. The Convention has determined and reaffirmed the sovereignty and jurisdiction of Viet Nam over the sea areas and the continental shelf in conformity with the Declaration on May 12, 1977 and November 12, 1982 of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam on the sea areas of Viet Nam and in conformity with Viet Nam’s consistent policy in order to settle the disputes on the sea and continental shelf with the neighbouring countries through peaceful negotiations, in the spirit of equality, mutual understanding and respect, corresponding to international law.
To help readers have more information on the process of participating and implementing the stipulations and requirements of the 1982 Convention for such littoral nations as Viet Nam, reviewing, judging and analyzing the actual situation of managing the sea, protecting the sovereignty and interests on the sea of Viet Nam, the National Political Publishing House published the book on the 1982 Sea Convention and the sea strategy of Viet Nam with Dr. Nguyen Hong Thao as the chief editor.
The book comprises three parts:
The first part: Introduces the East Sea and Viet Nam’s position on the sea, the policy and law on the sea of Viet Nam through periods of time.
The second part: Summarizes the process of building and developing the international law on the sea with the important landmark being the 1982 Convention and Viet Nam’s participation in this Convention.
The third part: Determines the sea areas of Viet Nam; the plan to develop Viet Nam’s sea areas; provides detailed information on the process of implementing the 1982 Convention by Viet Nam in the following specific areas: Security of national defence; foreign relations; sea transport and communication; fisheries; oil and gas; protection and maintenance of sea environment; post and telecommunication; sea mapping and settlement of disputes over sovereignty on the sea.
The book aims to explain the process of participating and implementing the stipulations and requirements of the 1982 Convention concerning such littoral nations as Viet Nam, review, judge and analyze the actual situation of managing the sea and protecting Viet Nam’s sovereignty and interests on the sea. In actuality, all of Viet Nam’s activities on the sea are diverse and abundant, not only the pure implementation of the 1982 Convention. That is why, the content of the book has not dealt with all the activities concerning the use of the sea. It has focused on the main areas relating to the use of the sea; Viet Nam’s expansion of the sea and the issues relating to the stipulations of the 1982 Convention are not so deeply dealt with and analyzed concerning all aspects of each area. The book only concentrates on the study of the main requirements of the 1982 Convention relating to each area and Viet Nam’s putting it into effect.
It is hoped that the book on the 1982 Convention and Viet Nam’s sea strategy will be helpful to some extent to the research work, use and management of the sea of Viet Nam, thus making a contribution to taking Viet Nam to become a strong nation on the sea in the 21st century./.