PH conducts workshop with ASEAN neighbors to handle maritime disputes

While China continues to reject the South China Sea arbitral ruling, the Philippines has conducted a workshop with other Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) countries on how to peacefully settle maritime disputes.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Philippines hosted a three-day Workshop on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes and Maritime Boundary Delimitation that started on July 12.

Photo courtesy of DFA-MOAO

The aim of the workshop was to discuss how to handle maritime disputes, like what the Philippines, a country that was favored by the arbitral ruling as well as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), is doing.

DFA said Tuesday, July 19, that the workshop focused on two major themes: first was dispute settlement mechanisms under UNCLOS, and the second was maritime boundary delimitation procedure.

In her remarks, DFA said, Assistant Secretary for Maritime and Ocean Affairs Maria Angela Ponce noted that "the 2016 South China Sea Arbitration Award, whose 6th anniversary was on July 12, is a demonstration of the Philippines' commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes through UNCLOS." German Ambassador to the Philippines Anke Reiffenstuel supported the country's position by highlighting the contribution of the Award to the rule of law in the disputed waters.

The workshop, co-organized by DFA’s Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office, the Office of ASEAN Affairs and the Max Planck Foundation (MPF) for International Peace and the Rule of Law, was attended by representatives of the ASEAN countries' foreign and justice ministries and their respective agencies that cover maritime issues.