ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM SEMINAR ON THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA (UNCLOS) 1982
8 - 9 MARCH 2011
MAKATI CITY, MANILA
MR. MAZWAN BIN AB MANAN
MRS. ZARINA BINTI ABDUL RAZAN
Asean Regional Forum (ARF) Seminar on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was held in Makati City, Manila on 8 – 9 March 2011. This seminar was co-organised by the Philippines Government and Australia Government.
The seminar was divided into 4 sessions with the first session on various maritime zones, second session on the cooperative mechanism under UNCLOS, third on dispute settlement and final session on marine environmental protection.
The first paper was presented by Professor Sam Batemen from Wollongong University, Australia who gave a general overview on basic maritime zone such as territorial sea, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf.
Prof. Taisaku Ikeshima from Japan elaborated on freedom, obligation and jurisdiction of states in high seas. Piracy was among the issues discussed in the seminar. Following the recent arrest of the seven (7) pirates in the water of Arabian Sea, the international community is following with interest on how the Malaysian government is going to prosecute the pirates under Malaysian law.
Prof. Hasjim Djalal from Indonesia, a highly respected personality in maritime law elaborated on Indonesian efforts to gain international recognition of the archipelagic concept and its final adoption under Part IV of UNCLOS 1982.
Session 2 was on cooperative mechanism under UNCLOS which involve the issue of joint oceanographic marine scientific research (JOMSRE) carried by Vietnam and the Philippines in South China Sea.
Prof. Wen Jilu from China Institute of Marine Affairs (CIMA), in his presentation on the dispute settlement under UNCLOS was critical on the advisory power of International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
During the discussion on marine environmental protection, it was revealed that the coral reefs in South China Sea are being threatened by crown of thorn (COT), a kind of starfish that damage reef. The destruction of the reef may have an impact on the fish population. This revelation was certainly surprising as it was previously thought that the COT problem was a very much an isolated problem to Malaysian.
The seminar has been a fruitful one for the participants. Other than enhancing knowledge, it has provided for the participants to establish network with counterparts from the participating countries.
The presence of Prof. Hashim Djalal, an icon in international maritime arena has emphasised on the need for Malaysia to develop its own expertise in maritime field. Malaysia as a maritime nation need to develop a pool of expertise on the various field of maritime affairs.
Bahagian Keselamatan & Kedaulatan Maritim
Majlis Keselamatan Negara
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