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Uphold UNCLOS for regional peace — PH

FOREIGN Affairs Assistant Secretary of Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) Affairs and ASEAN-Philippines Director-General Junever M. Mahilum-West urged states to uphold the 1982 United Nations (UN) Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS).

“We urge the members of the AMF and the EAMF to work towards fulfilling their obligations under the 1982 UNCLOS for the peace, stability, and prosperity of our region.” said Mahilum-West.

Mahilum-West also expressed the Philippines’ steadfast commitment to achieving the early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) that is in accordance with international law, particularly the 1982 UNCLOS; and proposed the harmonization of national governance efforts with regional and international maritime cooperation frameworks, or at least the enhancement of their complementaries.

Highlighting the priorities of the Philippines in the area of maritime governance and cooperation during the series of ASEAN meetings, the diplomat highlighted national efforts in maritime governance, including the establishment of the National Coast Watch Council to strengthen interagency coordination on maritime affairs; and cited the Trilateral Cooperation Arrangement with Indonesia and Malaysia to combat transnational maritime crimes in the Sulu-Sulawesi Sea.

Established in 2010, the AMF is a venue for dialogue on a wide range of maritime issues such as maritime security trends, maritime cooperation, maritime domain awareness, and maritime environmental protection, among others. The EAMF, on the other hand, includes ASEAN’s partners.