Sunday, 21 September 2014 Brussels Belgium
UNCLOS Arbitral Proceedings and the WPS
Tuesday, 22 January 2013 13:12    Bookmark and Share PDF Print E-mail

 

argaiv1618

dfasealsmlStatement of Secretary Albert del Rosario: On the UNCLOS Arbitral Proceedings against China to achieve a peaceful and durable solution to the dispute in the West Philippine Sea

 

[Released on January 22, 2013]

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen of the print and broadcast media.

I have the honor to introduce to you the Honorable Solicitor General of the Philippines Francis H. Jardeleza who stands with me here today.

This afternoon, the Philippines has taken the step of bringing China before an Arbitral Tribunal under Article 287 and Annex VII of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in order to achieve a peaceful and durable solution to the dispute over the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

At around one o'clock this afternoon, the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Ma Keqing was summoned to the Department of Foreign Affairs and was handed a Note Verbale by Assistant Secretary Teresa Lazaro.  The Note Verbale contains the Notification and Statement of Claim that challenges before the Arbitral Tribunal the validity of China's nine-dash line claim to almost the entire South China Sea (SCS) including the WPS and to desist from unlawful activities that violate the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Philippines under the 1982 UNCLOS.

I furnish you with a copy of the Note Verbale with the Notification and Statement of Claim.

This Notification initiates the arbitral proceedings under Article 287 and Annex VII of UNCLOS.

The initiation of Arbitral Proceedings against China on the nine-dash line is an operationalization of President Aquino's policy for a peaceful and rules-based resolution of disputes in the WPS in accordance with international law specifically UNCLOS.

The Philippines has exhausted almost all political and diplomatic avenues for a peaceful negotiated settlement of its maritime dispute with China.  On numerous occasions, dating back to 1995, the Philippines has been exchanging views with China to peacefully settle these disputes.  To this day, a solution is still elusive.   We hope that the Arbitral Proceedings shall bring this dispute to a durable solution.

Our legal position before this UNCLOS Arbitral Tribunal is explained in this carefully crafted Notification and Statement of Claim.   I invite the media to study closely the legal document we have given you so as to accurately report on the Philippine legal position.

Allow me, however, to highlight some salient points in the Notification and Statement of Claim:

1.    The Philippines asserts that China's so-called nine-dash line claim that encompasses virtually the entire South China Sea/West Philippine Sea is contrary to UNCLOS and thus unlawful.

2.    Within the maritime area encompassed by the 9-dash line, China has also laid claim to, occupied and built structures on certain submerged banks, reefs and low tide elevations that do not qualify as islands under UNCLOS, but are parts of the Philippine continental shelf, or the international seabed.   In addition, China has occupied certain small, uninhabitable coral projections that are barely above water at high tide, and which are "rocks" under Article 121 (3) of UNCLOS.

3.    China has interfered with the lawful exercise by the Philippines of its rights within its legitimate maritime zones, as well as to the aforementioned features and their surrounding waters.

4.    The Philippines is conscious of China's Declaration of August 25, 2006 under Article 298 of UNCLOS (regarding optional exceptions to the compulsory proceedings), and has avoided raising subjects or making claims that China has, by virtue of that Declaration, excluded from arbitral jurisdiction.

In this context, the Philippines is requesting the Arbitral Tribunal to issue an Award that, among others:

- Declares that China's rights in regard to maritime areas in the South China Sea, like the rights of the Philippines, are those that are established by UNCLOS, and consist of its rights to a Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone under Part II of UNCLOS, to an EEZ under Part V, and to a Continental Shelf under Part VI;

- Declares that China's maritime claims in the SCS based on its so-called nine-dash line are contrary to UNCLOS and invalid;

- Requires China to bring its domestic legislation into conformity with its obligations under UNCLOS; and

- Requires that China desist from activities that violate the rights of the Philippines in its maritime domain in the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippines asserts that the Arbitral Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear and make an award based on its Notification and Statement of Claim because the dispute is about the interpretation and application by States Parties of their obligations under the UNCLOS.    Article 287 (1) of UNCLOS provides that "settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation and application of this Convention" may be referred by the Parties for resolution under Part XV of UNCLOS.

The Philippines further asserts that the claim is well founded in fact and law based on the Notification and Statement of Claims and supplementary documents that will be submitted in the course of the arbitral proceedings.

Solicitor General Francis H. Jardeleza is the agent or legal representative for the Philippines in this Arbitral Proceedings.  The lead counsel of the Philippines is Mr. Paul Reichler of Foley and Hoag LLP.

The Philippines has always asserted that international law including UNCLOS will be the great equalizer in resolving this dispute over the West Philippine Sea.

While we proceed with the legal track, the Philippines continuous to exert all efforts to move forward and enhance its relations with China on the basis of mutual respect.

We strongly believe that this action is the appropriate response to put our diplomatic relations in its proper context.

We hope that China would join us in this aspiration.

This ends our press briefing, ladies and gentlemen.

We will give you a set of questions with corresponding responses to complete your information.

We thank you as we understand you have a deadline to meet.


 

Philippine Embassy in Brussels

 

297 Avenue Moliere, 1050 Brussels

E-mail: consular.brusselspe@gmail.com

E-mail: brusselspe@gmail.com

Trunkline: (+32) 02 340 33 77 to 78

Fax Number: (+32) 02 345 64 25

 

consular

Consular matters: (+32) 02 340 33 73
Consular matters: (+32) 02 340 33 74

 

Appointment_UrgentOperating Hours of the
Consular Section

  • Assessment and processing of applications for consular services is from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Mondays to Fridays (except Belgium & Philippine declared holidays)

 

blankbr

Duty Officer: (+32) 0488 609.177

Consulates

 

ANTWERP

Mr. PETER VAN BOGAERT
Consul General, a.h. (Antwerp, Belgium)
Telefax: +323 325 71 16
GSM +324 754 609 32
pb.vanbogaert@skynet.be

Mr. ANTONIO GUANSING
Consul a.h. (Antwerp, Belgium)
GSM +324 754 228 61
Fax: +323 325 71 16
guansing@telenet.be
guansing@skynet.be

LUXEMBOURG

Mr. ALAIN KINSCH
Consul General a.h. (Grand Duchy of Luxembourg)
+352.42.124.84.44
Fax No. 352.421.245.555
alain.kinsch@lu.ey.com


 

 

 

 

 

 

PH Trade & Investment Center

 

Zafrullah G. Masahud

Commercial Counsellor
Avenue Louise 207, Bte 5B, 1050
Brussels, Belgium View Map
Tel: +32 2 649.44.00 / 649.89.48
Fax: +32 2 649.89.40
E-mail: dtibrussels@skynet.be
Web: www.pticbrussels.weebly.com
Web: www.dti.gov.ph
.
50_years_link

Agricultural Office

 

Pit Laquian

Agricultural Attaché
Tel:  +(32) 02 340 37 90 
Fax: +(32) 02 343 02 69
E-mail: agribxl@gmail.com
For more information on the Philippine agricultural sector, please visit the following website: www.da.gov.ph

 

 

 

YEARS OF COMMON VALUES AND SHARED INTERESTS

YEARS OF STRONG LINKAGES

YEARS OF ENDURING PARTNERSHIP

 

 

ov

 

 

Republic Act No. 10590 An Act Amending Republic Act No. 9189, entitled "An Act Providing for a System of Overseas Absentee Voting by Qualified Citizens of the Philippines Abroad, Appropriating Funds Therefor and for other Purposes" (Click here)

ov2sml

 

 

 

 

For more details, please visit the Embassy's Consular Section, or contact us through telephone numbers 02.340.3377 to 78 or email us at voting.brusselspe@gmail.com

 

Announcements and Links

 


  • Situational reports on the effects of Typhoon Yolanda can be found at the website of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (www.ndrrmc.gov.ph)