Uphold Unclos to ensure peace, stability in South China Sea—DFA

Uphold Unclos to ensure peace, stability in South China Sea — DFA

/ 03:56 PM March 04, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Solidarity in upholding the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) is necessary to ensure “peace, prosperity, and stability” in the region around the South China Sea, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Enrique Manalo said on Monday.

Manalo made the statement while speaking at the Maritime Cooperation Forum on the sidelines of the special summit between member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and Australia.

READ: UNCLOS explained: Why China’s claims in South China Sea are invalid


While he did not directly address nor mention Beijing, the DFA chief enjoined Asean and Australian leaders to prioritize “cooperation over confrontation, and diplomacy over the use or the threat of the use of force,” as he emphasized the Philippines’ legal backings to its claim over the contested waters in South China Sea.


“For the South China Sea and the seas and oceans of the Indo-Pacific to be unifying domains of peace, stability, and prosperity, we need to gather more strongly around a collective responsibility, as well as a shared sense of stewardship,” the DFA Chief said.

“Solidarity around the rule of law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is the necessary starting point for this. Unclos, as the Constitution for the Oceans, provides the fundamental anchor for cooperation in the maritime domain and for resolving maritime disputes,” he added.

The Philippines ratified Unclos in 1986 and has since been a part of the country’s diplomatic arsenal to assert its claims around the waters surrounding its islands which are being contested mainly by China.

“In the same spirit, the Philippines pursued the South China Sea Arbitration with the aim of upholding the rule of law and promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes. The binding 2016 Arbitral Award is now part of international law,” the DFA chief continued.

The arbitral award declares China’s sweeping claims of the South China Sea, through its “nine-dash-line,” as invalid.

He likewise told Asean and Australian leaders that “shared stewardship of the seas and the oceans in the region behooves us to unite in preserving the primacy of international law to ensure equitable and sustainable outcomes for all.”


READ: Marcos leaves for Asean-Australia Special Summit

On March 3, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. left for Melbourne in Australia, along with other members of his Cabinet, to take part in the Asean-Australia Special Summit from March 4 to 6.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Marcos said that the summit would be an opportunity for him to “reiterate the Philippines’ national positions on regional and international issues.”

For comprehensive coverage, in-depth analysis, and the latest updates on the West Philippine Sea issue, visit our special site here. Stay informed with articles, videos, and expert opinions.

TAGS: ASEAN, DFA, South China Sea, Unclos, West Philippine Sea

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.