The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), a non-governmental organization with consultative status to the Council on Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations (ECOSOC), was established to support and uphold the international law, and to protect the rights of nations to development, economic equality and access to scientific achievements as well as natural resources.
IADL is concerned about the increasing tensions between countries in the region regarding security and navigation safety in the South China Sea and the increasing potential for conflict which poses a direct threat to peace, stability, security in Southeast Asia. Ensuring maritime security and safety affects the common interests of the whole Asia – Pacific region as well as of Europe and the Middle East. The tension is being used by the United States as a pretext for a military presence in the area.
The UN Charter requires all members to refrain from the use of force, the threat of force in international relations and to settle international conflicts by peaceful means in order to maintain peace, security and equality. The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) has specific regulations on maritime delimitation as well as mechanisms of dispute resolution. Concerned parties in the South China Sea dispute should comply with the Convention and employ the mechanisms of dispute resolution provided in the Convention to settle sea disputes in a peaceful and equal way.
IADL calls for the international community to ensure all parties resort to peaceful negotiation to maintain and enforce the international law, particularly the regulations of the UNCLOS, in the South China Sea. Such steps will contribute to the protection of the rights of all nations to development, economic equality and access to scientific achievements as well as natural resources under the basic principles of the Charter, self-determination of each people through their respective states, and equality between small and large nations.