Del Rosario: It’s not pointless to seek UN support for arbitral ruling
MANILA, Philippines — Former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario on Friday refuted Malacañang’s claim that it would be pointless to seek support from the United Nations for the Philippines’ arbitral win against China in the West Philippine Sea dispute.
The former chief diplomat who led the team that secured the legal victory against China in 2016 said lobbying in the United Nations would take “time and hard work.”
“The UN serves as not only the primary promoter of the rule of law but also the court of world public opinion,” Del Rosario said, countering presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo’s assertion that the United Nations cannot enforce the arbitral ruling that upheld the Philippines’ sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea while rejecting China’s claims.
Contradicting Panelo’s claim that raising the arbitral case before the United Nations was a “futile exercise,” Del Rosario reminded the presidential spokesperson and chief legal counsel that leaders of 193 countries go to the UN General Assembly each year “to promote their positions.”
“Seeking a resolution can only be pursued after the proper foundation has been developed. As we suggested earlier, it would take time and hard work but it can be done,” said Del Rosario.
While he agreed with Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.’s assessment that China had secured the support of many developing countries, Del Rosario said he believed that countries would still want to uphold the “rule of law.”
“While we agree with Secretary Locsin that many developing countries are beholden to China because of economic largesse, the inherent desire for the rule of law to prevail is the balancing factor. We have every confidence in Secretary Locsin, with the men and women in the foreign service, to ably undertake what is required in moving forward our case on the arbitral tribunal outcome,” he said.
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