On October 28th, 2021, a research panel meeting of the National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED) was held to evaluate the State-level research Project titled "Researching scientific and practical foundations, proposing policies and plans for negotiations of Vietnam in the development of international legal documents within the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ)" conducted by Hanoi Law University and funded by the NAFOSTED. The research team includes experienced researchers in the fields of international law, international environmental law, environmental law, biodiversity, environmental sciences of Hanoi Law University and other institutions led by the Project leaders including Assoc. Dr. Nguyen Hong Thao - Vice Chairman of the United Nations International Law Commission (ILC) and Dr. Hoang Ly Anh, Acting Director of Department of Research Management and Journal Administration of Hanoi Law University.
The panel members include leading experts in different fields, such as Assoc. Prof. Dr. Doan Nang – Former Director of Legal Department, Ministry of Science and Technology; Dr. Tran Le Hong - Deputy Director of Intellectual Property Department - Ministry of Science and Technology; Prof. Do Cong Thung – Former Director of the Institute of Marine Resources and Environment; Dr. Nguyen Thi Hoang Anh - The president of Vietnam Society of International Law (VSIL) and Dean of the Faculty of International Law, Diplomatic Academy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam.
An overview picture of the meeting
The conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) has been an important issue. However, at present, countries are negotiating to develop an international legal instrument on the BBNJ while there are still divergences in terms of perceptions, views and reality among countries. As a maritime country, Vietnam has rights, interests and obligations related to the BBNJ. Therefore, it is essential for Vietnam to understand the scientific and practical elements of this issue, which could allow the country to effectively contribute to the promulgation of international legal instruments within the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Assoc.Prof. Dr. Nguyen Hong Thao - Vice Chairman of the United Nations International Law Commission (ILC)
Reporting to the panel, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Hong Thao - Vice Chairman of the International Law Commission of the United Nations, the project’s leader, emphasized that: The goal of this study is to provide scientific and practical foundations for the negotiation of international legal instrument within the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ). It also proposes recommendations on Vietnam's negotiating plan at the third and fourth negotiation session of the Intergovernmental Conference on international legal instruments within the framework of UNCLOS on BBNJ in order to better safeguard the country’s rights and interests.
After 18 months of working, the project’s research products which have all been completed include: 01 Report intended to serve the Government negotiating team; 01 Report for the third negotiation session of the Intergovernmental Conference on BBNJ legal instruments, including the proposal for Vietnam's negotiating policy and plan; 01 Report for the fourth negotiation session of the Intergovernmental Conference on BBNJ's legal instruments, including recommendations, guidelines and negotiating plans for Vietnam; 01 Summary report on theoretical and practical issues of the BBNJ, which will later be transferred to the Department of Social Sciences, Humanities and Nature (Ministry of Science and Technology), Hanoi Law University and other related units; 05 articles published in prestigious law journals and a number of intermediate products completed during the course of the project, including a Report on the content of the overseas study trip to work with Department of Sea and Ocean Affairs of the United Nations and the Vietnamese Delegation to the United Nations, 02 national-level conference proceedings, 07 seminar proceedings and 08 Reports of the 08 research topics.
The panel members highly valued the Project’s results and unanimously rated it as excellent.
The Project’s results will provide valuable scientific and practical arguments and serve Vietnam's negotiations in the BBNJ, directly contribute to the negotiation sessions through the preparation of reports for each session. Thus, it also helps protecting Vietnam's legitimate rights and interests in the BBNJ, enhancing Vietnam's position in international arena, as well as demonstrating the country’s responsibility in BBNJ cooperation. At the same time, the Project’s results will contribute to the amendment and supplement of the Law on the Sea of Vietnam, the Law on Natural Biodiversity, the Law on Marine and Island Resources and Environment etc; helping policy-making agencies of the Party and the Government develop strategies and plans to effectively exploit and utilize marine resources in areas beyond national jurisdiction in the coming years. Thereby, the project practically contributes to the successful implementation of the Strategy for Sustainable Marine Development in 2030 with a vision to 2045.
Assoc.Prof.Dr. To Van Hoa, Vice Rector of HLU
On behalf of the leaders of Hanoi Law University, Assoc. Prof. Dr. To Van Hoa, Vice Rector of the University, thanked NAFOSTED’s support, the participation of scientists, as well as acknowledging and appreciating the efforts of the project’s members. Also, in the context of developing Hanoi Law University as a leading institution in legal research and training, Assoc. Prof. Dr. To Van Hoa affirmed the meaning of the implementation of the research for lecturers and scientists in enhancing their research ability, as well as the ability of cooperating with domestic and foreign scientists.
International Cooperation Department