PM Dũng's speech at VN Sea and Island Week 2011
14:56 | 09/06/2011

VGP – Prime Minister  Nguyễn Tấn Dũng on Wednesday delivered his keynote speech at the Việt Nam Sea and Islands Week 2011 in the coastal city of Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa Province. The following is full text of the speech.

      Distinguished guests, comrades and compatriots,

    In a joyous atmosphere buoyed by the successes of the 11th National Party Congress, and the elections to the 13th National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels for the 2011-2016 term, we are given a happy chance to be here today for a national Meeting in response to the World Oceans Day (June 8) and Việt Nam Sea and Island Week 2011, which was launched on June 1 and will run through June 8.

    On behalf of the Government, I would like to extend my greetings and best regards to the distinguished guests, delegates, and the entire fellow-men and soldiers nationwide.

    Distinguished guests, comrades and compatriots!

    Sea and islands hold a very important role in the socio-economic development cause of almost all countries on the globe. Today, in the context of increasing scarcity of land natural resources and narrowing traditional economic space, many countries are seeking to explore and exploit natural resources in the sea to meet their needs for raw materials, fuels, energies, and food. Sea and islands are becoming a huge economic resource and a new livelihood space, and at the same time, they bear significant importance in terms of security and national defense.

    Việt Nam is a coastal country, boasting a coastline that stretches around 3,260km, together with dozens of thousands of islands of various sizes, including two offshore archipelagos, and a vast exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. Việt Nam’s territorial waters possess an abundant and diverse natural resource with relatively substantial reserves and scope, which allow us to develop many important sea-borne economic sectors like fishing, aquaculture, seafood and aquatic processing, seaports, maritime transport, ship repair and shipbuilding, mineral exploitation; tourism; information and communication, etc. Over the past years, incomes sourced from the sea have contributed sizeably to the country’s development. It is estimated that at present, the ratio of sea-borne economic sectors and related sectors accounts for 48% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Of the sea-borne economic sectors, sea surface-based sectors, mainly oil and gas exploitation, seafood, shipping (including maritime transport and seaport services), marine tourism, hold up to 98%. However, we are facing grave challenges in terms of sea and islands protection; exploitation of marine natural resources and environment; declining aquatic resources, bio-diversity and maritime ecosystem; and marine environmental pollution.

    The 4th Plenum of the 10th Communist Party of Việt Nam Central Committee adopted a Resolution on Việt Nam’s Sea Strategy to 2020, aiming to turn the country into a strong sea-based country which makes its wealth from the sea, and promote the comprehensive development of modernity-oriented multi-structure maritime sectors for achieving a fast, sustainable and highly efficient growth rate accompanied by long-term visions. By 2020, the sea-borne economic sectors will strive for 53-55% of the GDP, and 55-60% of the country’s total export turnover, contributing to addressing social issues efficiently and improving significantly the life of fishermen and people living along the coastline and in territorial waters.

    Distinguished guests, comrades and compatriots!

    Coupled with the decision to establish the General Department of Vietnamese Sea and Islands under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, which is functioned to undertake the general and synchronous State management over the country’s sea and islands, the annual organization of the Việt Nam Sea and Island Week 2011 from June 1-8 in response to the World Oceans Day is acutely important. This annual national event aims to popularize deeply and widely among different sectors, branches and people of all walks of life the position, role and potentials of Việt Nam’s sea and islands in the Fatherland’s national construction and protection.

     This year, themed “Vietnamese Brainpower, Vietnamese Youth work for Sustainable Development of the Fartherland’s Sea and Islands”, the Việt Nam Sea and Island Week 2011 is taking place in the coastal city of Nha Trang - a well-known beautiful tourist city with dynanism and potentials for multi-faceted development in Khánh Hòa Province and the Southern Central Region as well. I appreciate the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Khánh Hòa Provincial People’s Committee, the Central Committee of the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union, ministries, sectors, and mass organizations for jointly organizing this important event. The event offers us an opportunity to re-affirm our will and determination to protect the Fatherland’s inviolable territorial waters and islands, and respond to activities to tackle climate change and protect sea environment for the sake of sustainable development of our planet.

    On the occasion, we need to continue confirming and effectively organizing the following missions:

    - Firstly, continuing to strongly affirm and deliver the highest sense of will and determination of the entire Party, people and army in firmly defending Việt Nam’s sovereignty, sovereignty right and jurisdiction right over the Fatherland’s territorial waters and islands.

    Generations of our ancestors had sweated, even shed the blood, to safeguard and protect the Fatherland’s sacred territorial waters and islands. Nowadays, we need to creatively employ our ancestors’ lessons, combine the national syngergy with the epoch’s power, hold high justice and rightness, bring into full play internal potentials, and concurrently gain the international community’s support for firmly shielding our sovereignty over sea and islands as well as maritime economic activities. We continue asserting Việt Nam’s indisputable sovereignty over the two archipelagos of Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa, claiming Việt Nam’s sovereignty and sovereignty right over its territorial waters, exclusive economic zone, and continental shelf under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Equipped with strong will, determination, and synergy of the entire nation, the Vietnamese people and Viet Nam are to safeguard and defend their territorial waters and islands. We persistently advocate the settlement of disputes in the East Sea through peaceful measures with respect for international laws, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; and at the same time, strongly oppose and resolutely fight activities that infringe  our sovereignty and legitimate interests in our territorial waters.

    While consistently striving for a basic and long-term solution, Việt Nam requests relevant parties to exercise self-restraint, not to take any acts that will complicate the situation in the East Sea, to comply with commitments to addressing disputes through peaceful measures, with respect for principles of international law, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, to accelerate diplomatic efforts for confidence-building, multi-lateral cooperation on maritime safety, scientific research, and anti-crime; to seriously observe the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) signed between ASEAN and China in 2002, and to work towards the adoption of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), so as to make the East Sea the sea of peace, stability, friendship and development, for the interests of all countries in the region, and for common security of the region and the world.

    Firmly defending territorial sovereignty and firmly maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea are national issues. The settlement of emerging issues in the East Sea need to be included in the country’s master socio-economic development strategy and its foreign policy of peace, independence, diversification and multi-lateralization of international relations; reactionary forces are not given any chance to make corrupt use of, or criticize, or sabotage the Party and State’s leadership, or distort and split international relations between our country and relevant parties.

    - Secondly, continuing to perfect the system of policies and mechanisms pertaining to sea and islands, monitoring the marine resources and environment, establishing a synchronous legal system and effectively deploying it for tight management, well preservation, and efficient exploitation of marine sources for national development and the people’s interests.

    - Thirdly, combining socio-economic development closely with the provision of guarantee for security and national defense, international cooperation and environmental protection; associating the development of territorial waters, coastal areas and islands with that in deltas and urban areas to accelerate national industrialization and modernization.

    Appropriate policies should be promulgated for strong enterprises to take shape, and at the same time, all domestic economic components and foreign resources should be mobilized to fully tap sea and island potentials so as to make more contributions to the State budget and raise the proportion of sea-borne economy in the national economy’s growth rate.

    Adopted measures should be strengthened and executed synchronously and effectively to protect fishermen, economic forces, and legal activities operating in our fatherland’s territorial waters. 

    Economic development in general and sea-borne economy in particular need to be linked with environmental protection, environmental pollution prevention need to be regarded as the motto of action, thoughts of making only short-term benefits and disregarding environmental preservation, protection and regeneration need to be erased, and the mobilization of social resources for the protection of the environment, and sea and island resources need to be sped up. 

    - Fourthly, speeding up scientific and technological research on management and development of sea-based economy for sustainable exploitation and use of maritime resources, and sea environment protection; dealing effectively with climate change and sea level rise, and minimizing the degradation of marine resources, marine biodiversity, and marine ecosystems.  

    - Fifthly, continuing to consolidating and enhancing friendship and cooperation with other countries in the region and the world at large as well as international organizations on the issues relating to sea and islands on the basis of respect for national sovereignty, national interests and international law, providing guarantee for international navigation security and safety; and jointly building a region of peace, stability, cooperation and development.

    - Sixthly, ministries, agencies, socio-political organizations, and local authorities should continue to disseminate, educate and raise the public awareness of the Fatherland’s sea and islands, sharpen their sense of protection of marine resources and environment; turn consciousness into self-awareness and translate it into specific and practical deeds at every level, in every agency, enterprise, and each of us. 

    With all-out efforts and determination by the entire Party, people and army, coupled with patriotic spirit, and the love for sea and islands, we believe that the above key missions would be fulfilled fruitfully, making practical contributions to the realization of the Resolution of the 11th National Party Congress for the goal of building the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam into a strong country with wealthy people, and a democratic, just and civilized society. 

    May the Việt Nam Sea and Island Week and the World Oceans Day 2011 have success.

    May all distinguished guests, comrades and compatriots have health, happiness, and success.

    Thank you very much./.

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