The Philippines welcomes the G7 Foreign Ministers' Statement on Maritime Security, which once again upholds the principles of international law, in particular the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The Statement, released on April 11 in Hiroshima, Japan, reaffirmed the need to ensure peace, stability, freedom of navigation and overflight, and to adhere to the rule of law in the South China Sea.
The Philippines advocates a peaceful, rules-based approach to the disputes in the South China Sea. In this regard, it welcomes the G7 Ministers' call for all “states to pursue the peaceful management and settlement of maritime disputes in good faith and in accordance with international law, including through applicable internationally recognized legal dispute settlement mechanisms, including arbitration, recognizing that the use of such mechanisms is consistent with the rule of law, and to fully implement any decisions rendered by relevant courts and tribunals which are binding on them, including as provided under UNCLOS.”
The Philippines has announced that it will abide by the Arbitral Tribunal’s ruling, which is binding on parties. The arbitration process is in line with the international rules-based principles that should guide the way forward among parties to manage and resolve the disputes in the South China Sea peacefully.
The Philippines fully shares the G7 Foreign Ministers' “strong opposition to any intimidating, coercive or provocative unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions, and urge all states to refrain from such actions as land reclamations including large scale ones, building of outposts, as well as their use for military purposes and to act in accordance with international law including the principles of freedoms of navigation and overflight.”
This underscores the critical importance of ensuring the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, as well as the need for Parties to urgently conclude negotiations on the Code of Conduct.
The Philippines supports the G7's recognition of “maintaining the sea as governed by the rule of law, which is indispensable for international peace and prosperity. END