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Symposium on Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific: Upholding the Rule of Law

08 November 2021 (3:00 PM) - 10 November 2021 (5:00 PM)

Day 1: 8th November 2021 (Monday)

Session 1: The Compliance Dilemma: Upholding UNCLOS 1982 towards a Peaceful Indo-Pacific

Strengthening the rule of law is critical to promote a free and open rules-based maritime order in the Indo-Pacific. As demonstrated in the "ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific", international law, notably the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), shall be upheld to facilitate maritime cooperation and the peaceful settlement of territorial disputes in the Indo-Pacific region. Join this session (Day 1) of the virtual symposium to deepen the discussion on the administration of the UNCLOS 1982 in the Indo-Pacific and the challenges faced by regional states in upholding the UNCLOS 1982, notably in issues of compliance for the peaceful resolution of territorial disputes.


15:00 – 15:10Opening Remarks
Datuk Dr Sabirin Ja’afar
Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA)
15:10 – 16:20Moderator:
Prof. Dr Irwin Ooi Ui Joo
Head of Centre for Advocacy & Dispute Resolution,
Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia
Prof. Jay L. Batongbacal
Director of the UP Institute for Maritime Affairs and
Law of the Sea
University of the Philippines

Prof. Robert C. Beckman
Head of Centre for International Law’s Ocean Law and
Policy Programme
National University of Singapore

Dr Makoto Seta
Associate Professor
Yokohama City University, Japan
16:20 – 17:00Questions and Answers Session

Day 2: 9th November 2021 (Tuesday)

Session 2: Disputes, Defuse, and De-escalation: Navigating the Power Contest in the South China Sea

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst states in Southeast Asia have been trying to control the effects of the pandemic, the South China Sea has seen an escalation in military activities. Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam claim parts of the South China Sea. The Indo-Pacific states wish to ensure freedom of navigation and overflight as stipulated in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Nonetheless, differences in the interpretations of freedom of navigation and overflight under the UNCLOS 1982 have led to disputes within the contested waters. Join this session (Day 2) of the virtual symposium seeks to discuss the differences in the understandings of freedom of navigation and overflight across the region, address the build-up of military activities, and seek to best resolve some of the issues seen in the South China Sea.


09:30 – 10:45 a.mModerator:
Dr Nguyen Hung Son
Vice President and Director-General of the East Sea Institute
Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV)
Prof. James Kraska
Chair and Charles H. Stockton Professor of International
Maritime Law
US Naval War College

Mr Aristyo Rizka Darmawan
Lecturer in International Law
University of Indonesia

Prof. Donald R. Rothwell
Professor of Law
Australian National University (ANU)
10:45 – 11:30 a.mQuestions and Answers Session

Day 3: 10th November 2021 (Wednesday)

Session 3: Beyond Security: Strengthening the Rule of Law for a Sustainable Development in the Indo-Pacific's Maritime Domain

As concern for the protection and preservation of living resources in the marine environment grows, there is a need to intensify collaboration in the sustainable development of the blue economy. The economic overexploitation and increasing conflicts between competing resource users have increasingly degraded ocean health in the Indo-Pacific region. With the United Nation's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goal 14, life below water, an integrated approach is needed to strengthen the rule of law in the maritime domain. The rule of law needs to be in place and enforced to regulate maritime activities such as fishing, hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation, mining, coastal development, maritime transport, and many more. Join this session (Day 3) of the virtual symposium will feature discourse on the importance of the rule of law in monitoring maritime activities, ensuring sustainable development in the maritime domain.


15:00 – 16:10Moderator:
Datuk Dr Sabirin Ja’afar
Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA)
Dr Erik J. Molenaar
Deputy Director
Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS),
Utrecht University

Mr Zulhilmi Mohd Nizam
Researcher (Ocean Law and Policy)
Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA)

Ms Aparna Roy
Associate Fellow & Lead of Climate Change and Energy,
Centre for New Economic Diplomacy (CNED)
Observer Research Foundation, India
16:10 – 16:50Questions and Answers Session
16:50 – 17:00Closing Session

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8 November 2021 @ 3:00 pm
10 November 2021 @ 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Virtual Event (Zoom)