‘PH to uphold UNCLOS provisions in APPF maritime security talks’
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said the Philippines will uphold provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in discussions for drafting resolutions on maritime security issues during the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum.
“It’s safe to say that that type of wording — particularly respect for UNCLOS, freedom of navigation and possibly rules-based order will be discussed. If it will be adopted, we still have to find out after three days, but definitely it will be discussed,” Zubiri told reporters in a briefing on Thursday.
Zubiri likewise noted that maintaining this stand does not mean that the Philippines will disagree with every member-state present.
The Senate chief pointed out that dialogue “should always be there” to come up with a common stand amid the West Philippine Sea dispute
Zubiri added that he is happy that China attended the 31st APPF with “a very big delegation.”
House of Representatives Speaker Martin Romualdez, who was also present at the briefing, said all member-states present at the APPF subscribe to rules-based international order.
“We want to stress the importance of enhancing maritime security and the adherence to UNCLOS,” said Romualdez.
“While we might have different opinions, let’s say with China, that still does not preclude us from actually adhering to our beliefs and the collective beliefs of those countries similarly placed,” he added.
APPF is a multilateral parliamentary forum between member-countries in the Asia-Pacific region, covering Southeast Asia, Oceania, Northeast Asia, and the Americas.
More than 200 parliamentarians from 19 countries in the Asia-Pacific, including the Philippines are taking part in this year’s APPF.