Press Release
July 21, 2012

Legarda Welcomes Release of ASEAN Statement on South China Sea

"The release of the ASEAN statement on 'ASEAN's Six-Point Principles on the South China Sea' is a constructive development that should be welcomed by all as a sincere gesture towards progress," said Senator Loren Legarda.

These principles include a commitment to respect international laws including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and exercise of self-restraint and non-use of force to settle disputes.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, explained that it provides a pathway for ASEAN to move on from its failure to issue a joint communiqué during its 45th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting last July 8 -12, and will go a long way in creating an environment more conducive to negotiations.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), in a July 13 statement, expressed frustration over the non-issuance of a joint communiqué in light of the situation in the Scarborough Shoal (Bajo de Masinloc).

"We should all look at these developments as a sincere gesture to progress work in ASEAN's bid to adopt a Code of Conduct on the South China Sea. It is time to move on and move fast. It is important for ASEAN to show, not by mere words, but by action, that it can effectively help shape a secure future for the South China Sea. We cannot afford any less," Legarda concluded.

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