German Ambassador Dr. Ney visits Port Blair, attends conference on UNCLOS
From 4th to 6th October, German Ambassador to India, Dr. Martin Ney, visited Port Blair, to attend the ‘Conference on UNCLOS: Solutions for managing the maritime global commons’. He also met with the then Lieutenant Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi, and the union territory’s Chief Secretary, Anindo Majumdar.
Enlarge image Ambassador Dr. Martin Ney speaking at the event (© India Foundation)
At the conference, Ambassador Dr. Ney participated in a panel discussion on the ‘Enduring legitimacy of UNCLOS and its continuing vitality in 21st century’, and reiterated that UNCLOS continues to be valid as the all-encompassing reference point concerning any activity in maritime areas, as the single most important source of legitimacy.
Speaking at the conference, Ambassador Dr. Ney said, “This concept of UNCLOS of being a legal order is still valid today. However, it does need to be upheld and defended. The UN General Assembly Resolution on the Law on the Sea stipulates that: “The convention sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out”, even though we have seen challenges to this notion in recent years. We have to ask: If we were not to accept this convention to be the central framework for all activities, what would be alternatives? I know of none.”
Ambassador Dr. Martin Ney speaking at the panel discussion
(© India Foundation)
Supporting the Tribunal’s award in the South China Sea arbitration, Ambassador Dr. Ney pointed out, “I think that the award of the Tribunal is an excellent example to show the continued legitimacy of UNCLOS and that the Tribunal accomplished a great deal to support its continuing relevance in the 21st century… Any claim saying that mentioned issues concerning the South China Sea only concern adjacent countries and not more distant parties are simply false. Why do they concern all state parties to UNCLOS? Because: what is at stake is also the freedom of the high sea. Trading nations like India and Germany have a huge stake in keeping shipping lines open.”
Enlarge image Audience at the event (© India Foundation)
Organised by the India Foundation, the UNCLOS conference held discussions on varied aspects related to maritime security in the Indo-Pacific. Attended by several high-profile international delegates, some of the other speakers at the conference included Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr. MJ Akbar and Deputy Minister of Policy Planning & Economic Development, Sri Lanka, Mr Harsha De Silva.