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2月24日のまにら新聞から

Locsin highlights PHL focus on maritime security cooperation in ASEAN at FM retreat

[ 411 words|2022.2.24|英字 (English) ]

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. highlighted Philippine priorities on maritime security cooperation in ASEAN during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on February 17.

Attending the first meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers for the year under Cambodia’s chairmanship, Locsin spoke on these priorities, highlighting maritime security cooperation as a key interest for the Philippines owing to its being an archipelagic state.

Locsin called on ASEAN to remain united in pushing for peace in the South China Sea.

“We want an early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea that excludes no country or power in the rest of the world…We appreciate initiatives to finally advance the negotiations beyond the provisional approval of the Preamble,” he said.

Locsin also said the 20th Anniversary of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea this year should be commemorated in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the 1982 UNCLOS, as the two landmark documents are fundamentally and inextricably linked.

He said UNCLOS and the 2016 Arbitral Award both provide legal clarity to all nations, and that these landmark documents “are not just beacons but the only coordinates pointing to a just and fair solution to disagreements.”

Locsin also announced the Philippines’ offer to chair the 12th ASEAN Maritime Forum (AMF) and the 10th Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF), both slated in late 2022.

The AMF was established in 2010 as 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. In 2012, the Philippines was inaugural chair of the EAMF, which serves as a venue for ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners to discuss maritime issues.

Locsin said that the Philippines is willing to act as shepherd for initiatives and engagements on maritime cooperation with other ASEAN Member States and Dialogue Partners under the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

Locsin also spoke on the political crisis in Myanmar, and welcomed the appointment of Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn as the new ASEAN Chair’s Special Envoy on Myanmar.

He reiterated his call for constructive dialogue that involves all parties concerned.

“The dialogue must include all, not just a select few. Most especially it must include Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. It should be a genuine dialogue and not a ventriloquist act,” he said. OPCD - Media and Public Affairs Division