Joint efforts required to keep the sea clean

Friday, 2018-06-01 11:43:39
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The World Oceans Day 2018 is aimed at raising public awareness of keeping the sea clean.
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NDO – Ten years have passed since the World Oceans Day (June 8) was officially recognised as an international holiday by the United Nations (UN). Annually, on this occasion, Vietnam organises response activities and launches the Vietnam Sea and Island Week. This year, the northern province of Quang Ninh has been selected to host these significant events.

The response activities are aimed at raising awareness of and mobilising the combined power in developing the sea-based economy; properly using natural resources and protecting the environment in association with the safeguarding of national sea and island sovereignty; and joining hands with the international community to keep the sea blue. The Vietnamese Party and State have clearly defined the objectives for developing the marine economy closely linked with ensuring national defense and security, while building and comprehensively developing the spheres of economy, society, science, and technology, towards enriching the country from its marine resources while also protecting the marine environment. Vietnam is striving for the ocean and coastal economy to contribute 53-55% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), and having the average income per capita of the ocean and coastal residents rising to twice as much as the nation’s average income.

Notably, in the development of the marine economy, Vietnam has consistently implemented the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, friendship, cooperation, and development, while advocating the protection of its legitimate territory and sovereignty by peaceful means. Vietnam also persistently promotes negotiations on the basis of the observance of international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), facilitates the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and steps up the building of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in a substantive and effective fashion and in accordance with international law.

Over past years, Vietnam has paid attention to investing in and developing the oil and gas exploitation and processing industry, as well as sea tourism and the island economy, while constructing concentrated economic and industrial zones in association with the development of coastal urban areas and the improvement of living standards for coastal inhabitants and islanders. The consistent viewpoint of the Vietnamese Party and State is not to trade the environment for economic development. The theme of World Oceans Day for 2018 is to “Clean our Ocean!” It is important to develop the sea-based economy in parallel with protecting the environment. Safeguarding the sea and island sovereignty is always a key task and the cause of the entire Vietnamese Party, Army, and people.

In order to achieve the envisaged objectives, Vietnam should continue to finalise its policies and laws on the sea and islands in the time ahead, especially the laws on the integrated management of natural resources, and the protection of the marine environment, ensuring synchronism, consistency, publicity, transparency, and accordance with the socialist-oriented market economy and the treaties and international agreements to which Vietnam is a signatory.

Vietnam will also need to consolidate the system of state management agencies, strengthen investment in infrastructure, and constantly improve the quality of the forces in charge of the state management tasks on the sea and islands, while sustainably developing the marine economy, protecting national sovereignty, and ensuring national defence and security. It is necessary to take continuous care of the people’s material and spiritual life and ensure their rights to the sea, while creating jobs and increasing the people’s rights to benefit from the values ​​derived from the sea.

With practical actions, the people and authorities at all levels are striving to bring into full play the tradition of firmly defending the nation’s sea and island sovereignty, while sustainably exploiting and using sea resources and protecting the marine environment, thereby contributing to the joint efforts to maintain the blue colour of the ocean.