DFA chief renews pitch for sea-row arbitration

The Philippines reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to the rule of law and sustainable development through key priority areas in the United Nations, including solving the territorial sea dispute in the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea with China through peaceful means.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, in his address before the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly,   identified key priority issues such as climate change; the rule of law; disarmament and non-proliferation; women, peace and security; migration and human trafficking, peacekeeping; and UN reform.

“With all the successes and challenges, praises and pitfalls, the United Nations has not only demonstrated its resilience, but has also affirmed continuing relevance against the backdrop of complex global issues and emerging regional threats to peace and security,” he said.

Del Rosario led the Philippine Delegation to the 70th Session of the UNGA which has the theme, “The United Nations at 70: The Road Ahead for Peace, Security and Human Rights.”

On the maritime disputes in the South China Sea,  Del Rosario said the Philippines has long placed its faith in the rules and institutions that the international community has created to regulate relations among States.

He said with the growing support from the international community in peacefully resolving disputes in the South China Sea, through arbitration, the Philippines believes that the final outcome of the arbitration process would pave the way for a settlement of the maritime disputes.

“On our dispute with China, a long-time partner and neighbor, we also hope that we will finally see actions that are consistent with Beijing’s declarations so that genuine efforts to lower tensions in the South China Sea can succeed and the peaceful settlement of disputes can be obtained,” he said.

“As host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in 2015, the World Body that the Philippines will pursue the following priorities: investing in human capital development; fostering Small and Medium Enterprises’ participation in regional and global markets; building sustainable and resilient communities; and enhancing the regional economic integration agenda.” 

The DFA official also highlighted that the partnership between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the UN has been beneficial to regional peace and stability.

On the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Philippines outlined five pillars which form part of the building blocks for the new framework, which  include poverty reduction and social inclusion; environment sustainability, climate change and disaster risk management; accountable, responsive and participatory governance; a fair and stable order based on the rule of law; and peace and security.

The Philippines also vowed to play an active role in tackling the issues of climate change, resiliency and disaster risk reduction and management.

The Philippines is currently the president of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and intends to promote a meaningful outcome in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change 21st session of the Conference of Parties in Paris.

“The international community must adopt a new legally-binding climate agreement that is universal and equitable, one that ensures a bright and low-carbon future for the next generation; and one that addresses the needs of vulnerable states and sectors particularly the poor, women, migrants and indigenous peoples,” Del Rosario said.

On women, peace and security, Secretary Del Rosario said the Philippines “shall continue on its path to successfully implement the agenda… by highlighting at this session the important contributions of women in peace negotiations and peace building, and their roles in shaping the narratives of peace.”

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