We, international and Vietnamese scholars attending the International Workshop “Legal Status of Islands and Rocks in International Law and Practice in the South China Sea” jointly held by Pham Van Dong University and NhaTrang University in NhaTrang city, KhanhHoa Province, between 16-18/8/2016, having discussed the recent developments in the South China Sea, based on the results of the objective, scientific presentations and constructive discussion among scholars, reach the following concensus:
1. Stressing the need to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea;
2. Affirming the importance of preserving freedom of navigation and overflight in accordance with international law in the South China Sea not only to the countries in the region but also the international community;
3. Reaffirming the principle of resolving international disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and its application to the disputes in the South China Sea;
4. Welcoming the final and binding Award rendered by the UNCLOS Annex VII South China Sea Arbitral Tribunal on 12 July 2016, which has contributed to narrowing the geographical scope of the disputes and opening up opportunities for resolving disputes and promoting cooperation in the interest of environmental protection and sustainable development inthe South China Sea.
5. Emphasizing ASEAN's centrality in building regional security structures andpromotingthe diplomatic and legal processesto resolve disputes in the South China Sea, and to work towards thefull implementation of the DOC and early conclusion of the COC, thus opening up new opportunities for the maintenance of peace and stability in the South China Sea;
6. Expressing the desire to continue organizing more workshops, international seminars on the topic of the South China Sea to extend research networks among institutions and interested scholars, in order to make policy recommendations to government agencies, and international organizations with the aim of creating an environment to the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation, and a legal conducive order based on international law in the South China Sea.
NhaTrang, August 17, 2016