DFA chief vents disappointment for not getting support from Australia in CLCS bid

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has expressed disappointment in Australia for not supporting the Philippines' bid for a seat in the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS).

DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. (Photo courtesy of the DFA)

Locsin vented his sentiments on Wednesday, June 15, amid the election for CLCS members held in New York until June 17.

He also lamented taking a risk for the trilateral security pact among Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (AUKUS) after the development.

"I am extremely disappointed Australia cannot support our candidature to the CLCS. Stuck out my neck for AUKUS. Thought we were partners in upholding rules-based order in the maritime domain. Come through for us," Locsin said.

The election for the CLCS members is held in line with the 32nd Conference of States Parties to United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Locsin launched the country's bid for a seat in the commission on May 23, naming Deputy Administrator Efren Carandang of the country’s National Mapping and Resource Information Authority.

The CLCS is a body of the UNCLOS tasked to examine and make recommendations on the coastal states’ submissions for extended continental shelves. The outer limits established through this process become the fixed boundaries between the seabed areas within national jurisdictions and the international seabed areas, which are reserved for common heritage.

Many coastal states will benefit directly from the mineral resources on the extended continental shelf, which was established by the commission. They will benefit from their respective shares of the proceeds derived from the exploration and exploitation of resources in the international seabed area.

Being one of the coastal states, the Philippines also stands to gain from these resources.

It submitted its nomination to the CLCS for the upcoming term, 2023 to 2028, in order to make significant contributions to the increased efficiency of the commission.