4th ASEAN Regional Forum Workshop on Enhancing Regional Maritime Law Enforcement Cooperation
On 6-7 April 2022, the European Union, Australia and Vietnam co-hosted the 4th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Workshop on Enhancing Regional Maritime Law Enforcement Cooperation by video conference. Mr Stijn Mols, Head of Division for Security and Defence Policy, European External Action Service, Mr Vu Ho, Acting SOM Leader, Director-General of ASEAN Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam, and Mr Justin Whyatt, Assistant Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, opened the workshop.
Participants discussed regional maritime law enforcement developments, best practice in bilateral and multilateral cooperation, as well as principles, guidelines and capacity building in the field of maritime law enforcement. In addition to interventions by ARF members, participants heard presentations by international experts on illicit activities at sea, on maritime law enforcement in areas of overlapping claims under international law, on preventing miscalculations and escalation in the South China Sea, and on possible non-binding guidelines for interaction between law enforcement agencies in the maritime domain. The co-hosts will submit a summary of discussions to the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Maritime Security, and will follow up with further activities in the area of international maritime law.
The European Union, Australia and Vietnam reaffirm the importance of upholding international law, in particular the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and remain committed to promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation in maritime law enforcement, which is conducive to the rules-based order at sea, to the safety of sea lines of communication and to freedom of navigation and overflight. Together with their ARF partners, they will continue to work for the security, prosperity and sustainable development of the Indo-Pacific region.