Compliance with the norms of international law will solve the problem of increasing threats to security at sea.

Large maritime jurisdictions like the South China Sea have actually turned into a hub of economic, political, geopolitical and military interests. And in this regard, it is very important to resolve all emerging conflicts and confrontations in such regions precisely by peaceful means, when all parties to the conflict follow the norms of international law, adhere to and execute court decisions based on the norms of international law. In turn, this will help to avoid large-scale conflicts.

The conflict in the South China Sea is exemplary in terms of Crimea and the situation in the Black and Azov Seas. On August 23, Ukraine is planning to hold the "Crimean Platform", whose efforts are also aimed at finding ways to resolve conflicts that cannot be found in the South China Sea. Therefore, it is possible that for the SCM region it would be advisable to consider this experience, the use of a general political platform for discussing the problems of the regions.

It is also important that a significant part of the Ukrainian trade turnover goes precisely through the sea transportation of this region (South China Sea) - 10-12 billion dollars annually. Therefore, Ukraine already today needs to think about ensuring its logistics capabilities for the supply of our goods and services to the key Chinese market for us today in the event of an aggravation of the situation in the South China Sea.

Taking into account the shift in the focus of the geopolitical confrontation to the South China Sea, and the importance of this region for the world and for Ukraine, in particular, the Ukrainian Institute of Politics has been studying this issue for a long time.(Link to the results of the international conference on the topic: "International Maritime Law in the South China Sea: Prospects for Implementation and Settlement" organized by the Ukrainian Institute of Politics:

In this situation, it is extremely important to closely monitor the situation in the SCS region and look for mechanisms to ensure peace.

Vietnam's efforts, in particular, the prime minister -Vietnamese Minister Pham Minh Tignh deserve to be commended in this regard.

On August 9, under the chairmanship of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a high-level UN Security Council online session on the topic “Strengthening Maritime Security: An Area of ​​International Cooperation” was held. This is the first session of the discussion on maritime security organized by the UN Security Council. Senior leaders and representatives of the UN Security Council member states and UN organizations discussed the problem of growing threats to maritime security.

In particular, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Thinh introduced a number of proposals on how to effectively respond to the challenges of maritime security.

In particular, the Vietnamese Prime Minister noted: maritime security is a global problem, therefore requires a global solution.It is necessary to fully and fully understand the importance of the sea and the risks to maritime security, encourage responsibility and political resolve, build trust, build a mechanism for close, effective cooperation to ensure a stable environment at sea and rational exploitation of marine resources

Vietnamese Minister Pham Minh Thinh went on to establish a network of regional maritime security mechanisms and initiatives that will be coordinated by the UN to enhance the exchange of information and experience, and take joint action to address common challenges in a timely manner.

Vietnam is working hard to rebuild atmosphere of peace and security, maintenance of ecology and sustainable development in the region and in the world. Therefore, the Prime Minister believes that the policies, laws and behavior of countries must comply with international law, in particular the 1982 United Nations Convention. At the same time, actions that may complicate the situation and cause tension should be prevented.

For its part, Vietnam is committed to working with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China to seriously, fully and effectively implement the Declaration of Conduct in the East Sea (DOC) and negotiate a meaningful and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in accordance with international law.


The proposals of the Prime Minister of Vietnam can be considered quite constructive and practical, if we take into account the current situation in the South China Sea, in which Vietnam is one of the direct participants. In recent years, the question has arisen about the delimitation of the SCS - this is a very important region, on which the population living within its basin depends economically. In the area of ​​the islands of the two archipelagos - Parasel and Spratly, there are important shipping routes, as well as active fishing. Over the past decade, one can observe how the importance of this region as a whole has grown; it acts as a point of geopolitical tension, where large resources are concentrated. (25% of world trade passes through it.)

There are five parties to the conflict that have declared their rights to be present in the SCS. In addition, there is the position of the United States, which is also demonstrating its military presence in the region. China currently claims most of the Paracel and Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, claiming to have fished in these waters for centuries. The Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia also claim the islands, which in China are called the "line of nine strokes".

The situation has worsened in recent years, when Beijing began to build up its naval presence in the region. there are artificial islands and place military objects on them.

Five years ago, on July 12, 2016, the International Court of Justice in The Hague rejected China's claims to the islands and adjacent waters, but the United States has only now officially declared its position.According to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the decision of the Hague Court of Arbitration is binding. But the Hague Arbitration does not have any opportunity to achieve the practical implementation of this decision, in connection with which the danger of large-scale conflicts in this region increases exponentially.

The current problems in the SCS are regional and global international problems of stability, security and freedom of navigation for all countries with their own interests in the region. Therefore, the attention of the entire world community to the problems associated with this conflict is necessary. The region is facing a challenge: on the one hand, there is international law that is not fully recognized and implemented by the competing parties in this region. On the other hand, there is a trend towards the implementation of bilateral agreements. The law of force itself, without the law of law, is not capable of ensuring a stable world order. And having realized the right of force in any region, the situation cannot be kept stable for a long time.

The UN Security Council took into account the proposals of the Prime Minister of Vietnam, Pham Minh Tinh, and stated that it is necessary to strengthen international cooperation to solve the above problems, to maintain compliance with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and promote regional and global initiatives to improve maritime safety.


Ruslan Bortnik, political scientist, Director of the Ukrainian Institute of Politics