3- day conference on UNCLOS gets underway Abiding by Intnl laws is essential for global peace: LG

Port Blair
5 Oct 2017

A 3-day conference on ‘United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea’ (UNCLOS), organized by India Foundation got underway today in the conference hall of the Hotel Sinclairs at Port Blair on Wednesday. The Lt. Governor, A&N Islands, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi inaugurated the conference as the chief guest.
Addressing the gathering, the Lt. Governor expressed his happiness to be part of the inaugural ceremony of conference on UNCLOS, organized by India Foundation at Port Blair. The Lt Governor stated that United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is widely referred to as the ‘Constitution of the Oceans’. It sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out, including conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and their resources. UNCLOS also sets forth the legal framework for the sustainable development of the oceans and seas which aims at balancing the rights and obligations of coastal States with those of other States, the Lt Governor added.
Pointing that the 3-days conference will discuss and deliberate a range of issues which include enduring legitimacy of UNCLOS & its continuing vitality in 21st century, role of UNCLOS in facilitating peaceful settlements of disputes, harmonious maritime dispute resolution, among others, the Lt Governor stated that maritime issues have emerged as one of the most important security issues in the Indo-Pacific region, driving major powers to strategically adjust their policies towards the region.
The Lt Governor stated that abiding all the International laws and decisions of International tribunals by each country of the world is very essential for global peace. He expressed hope that the maturity exhibited by the littoral states in the Bay of Bengal will also be exhibited by all modern nation states, especially to resolve the outstanding maritime disputes in Indo-Pacific region.
The Lt Governor said that the International community must renew and intensify its efforts to strengthen capacity building with a view to protecting oceans and providing an opportunity for all States to use their resources peacefully, equitably and sustainably for generations to come. To that end, an increased awareness and understanding of the inter-linkages between global legal and policy frameworks and how they can support national and local frameworks, and address capacity-needs is also essential. Effective cooperation and coordination, as well as partnerships across all levels and sectors will be critical in that regard. Such cooperation can also be facilitated and stimulated by global-level dialogue and experience-sharing across regions.
The Lt Governor further said that India also has Island territories both in the Arabian Sea and in the Bay of Bengal, and the policy of India is to become a net security provider in the Indian Ocean region which includes humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Their proximity to Malacca Strait allows India to provide assistance to countries of Southeast Asia in times of distress, as was done during Tsunami in 2004. India’s maritime zones overlap with many countries of Southeast Asia and India has resolved its bilateral disputes with them amicably. It has delineated its maritime borders with all the littorals in the Bay of Bengal, he added.
The Lt Governor concluded his speech by extending his heartiest congratulations to India Foundation for organizing conference on such an important and meaningful subject and hoped that considering the strategic significance of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and their proximity to countries of Southeast Asia, this UNCLOS Conference will also make an attempt to highlight the importance of rule based International order.
In his address, the Minister of State for External Affairs, Govt. of India, Mr MJ Akbar stated that the 21st Century is going to be of seas, skies and space and it belongs to those who have new ideas, vision and technologies. He said India is going to be a major player with regard to technology. He also explained as why India is also emerging as a Naval power.
The Member of Parliament, Mr Bishnu Pada Ray also graced the inaugural session.
In his speech, Vice Admiral Vinay Badhwar, Chief Hydrographer, Govt. of India, while enlightening about UNCOLS, said, it sets forth the legal framework for the sustainable development of the oceans and seas which aims at balancing the rights and obligations of coastal States with those of other States.
Earlier, the Director, India Foundation, Mr Alok Bansal welcomed the gathering while the inaugural session concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by Maj. General (Retd) Dhruv Katoch of India Foundation.