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NAM for implementation of DOC in South China Sea

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has expressed the hope for effective implementation of the ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.
The NAM’s 15th Summit of Heads of State and Government, meeting in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, from July 11th to 16th, 2009, declared in its Final Document:


“The Heads of State and Government reiterated the call to solve all sovereignty and territorial disputes in the South China Sea by peaceful means without resorting to force and/or threat to use force, and urged all parties to exercise restraint with a view to creating a positive climate for the eventual resolution of all contentious issues. In this context, they reaffirmed their support for the principles contained in the 1992 ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea as well as the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and stressed the need for the full implementation of such principles by all concerned. They expressed their hope that all parties concerned would refrain from any actions that may undermine peace, stability, trust and confidence in the region. They further reaffirmed their respect for and commitment to the freedom of navigation in and over-flight above the South China Sea as provided for by the universally recognised principles of international law. To this end, they welcomed the efforts by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China to effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea  as an important step to achieve a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, which would help to create a conducive environment for the maintenance of international peace and stability in the region. They further welcomed the positive contribution of the ongoing bilateral and multilateral consultations among the parties concerned at the intergovernmental level, the extensive consultations at the ASEAN-China Dialogue, the regular exchange of views in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the informal Workshops on Managing Potential Conflicts in the South China Sea and encouraged their continuance.”

* The Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea was signed on November 4th, 2002 during the ASEAN-China Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It reads:
“1. The Parties reaffirm their commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and other universally recognized principles of international law which shall serve as the basic norms governing state-to-state relations;
2. The Parties are committed to exploring ways for building trust and confidence in accordance with the above-mentioned principles and on the basis of equality and mutual respect;
3. The Parties reaffirm their respect for and commitment to the freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea as provided for by the universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea;
4. The Parties concerned undertake to resolve their territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force, through friendly consultations and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned, in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea;
5. The Parties undertake to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability including, among others, refraining from action of inhabiting on the presently uninhabited islands, reefs, shoals, cays, and other features and to handle their differences in a constructive manner.
Pending the peaceful settlement of territorial and jurisdictional disputes, the Parties concerned undertake to intensify efforts to seek ways, in the spirit of cooperation and understanding, to build trust and confidence between and among them, including:
a. holding dialogues and exchange of views as appropriate between their defense and military officials;
b. ensuring just and humane treatment of all persons who are either in danger or in distress;
c. notifying, on a voluntary basis, other Parties concerned of any impending joint/combined  military exercise; and
d. exchanging, on a voluntary basis, relevant information.
6. Pending a comprehensive and durable settlement of the disputes, the Parties concerned may explore or undertake cooperative activities. These may include the following:
a. marine environmental protection;
b. marine scientific research;
c. safety of navigation and communication at sea;
d. search and rescue operation; and
e. combating transnational crime, including but not limited to trafficking in illicit drugs, piracy and armed robbery at sea, and illegal traffic in arms.
The modalities, scope and locations, in respect of bilateral and multilateral cooperation should be agreed upon by the Parties concerned prior to their actual implementation.
7. The Parties concerned stand ready to continue their consultations and dialogues concerning relevant issues, through modalities to be agreed by them, including regular consultations on the observance of this Declaration, for the purpose of promoting good neighbourliness and transparency, establishing harmony, mutual understanding and cooperation, and facilitating peaceful resolution of disputes among them;
8. The Parties undertake to respect the provisions of this Declaration and take actions consistent therewith;
9. The Parties encourage other countries to respect the principles contained in this Declaration;
10. The Parties concerned reaffirm that the adoption of a code of conduct in the South China Sea would further promote peace and stability in the region and agree to work, on the basis of consensus,  towards the eventual attainment of this objective”./.

 

 

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