Oceans governance and
regional security cooperation
Following a variety of United Nations (UN) ‘years’ to mark global issues ranging from human rights to poverty eradication, 1998 was the UN International Year of the Ocean. The aim of the Year of the Ocean was to draw the world community's attention to the issue of the ocean and to encourage them to take actions for sustainable economic development and environmental protection of the world's oceans.
The world is now faced with population increase, resource scarcity and environmental degradation. Global and regional tension and conflict is becoming increasingly associated with access to and control over resources and concern for the environment. Many countries are pinning their hopes on solutions to these thorny issues, on the oceans. Taking advantage of the opportunities created by the Year of the Ocean, progress might be made toward some substantial and practical agreements on cooperative efforts in oceans governance. With the entry into force of the UN Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC) in November 1994, a new period of peaceful utilisation and comprehensive governance of the oceans has begun. However, a maritime cooperative security regime, both regional and global, has not been correspondingly developed, and critical uncertainties in maritime jurisdiction are matters of common concern.
Oceans governance in fact is part of security, and maritime cooperation is an essential element of security cooperation. Until now, maritime security cooperation has not been given enough attention. As the sea is the central component of the Asia-Pacific,