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Philippines, UN agree on resolving disputes peacefully

Publication Date : 08-05-2012


Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have emphasised the importance of peacefully resolving disputes between countries.

Del Rosario and Ban, who met at UN headquarters in New York on Friday, also discussed Philippine initiatives, particularly the country’s promotion of mediation as a means of conflict resolution.

"We believe in highlighting the importance of instruments for the peaceful settlement of disputes,” Del Rosario told Ban.

He said these initiatives were particularly important to the Philippines given its current standoff with China over the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

He said the Philippines had led efforts in the UN to mark the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the 1982 Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes through a General Assembly resolution calling on states to “promote and observe in good faith” the historic declaration.

Ban congratulated the Philippines “for actively promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes through its commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the historic Manila Declaration.”

The secretary general also welcomed the new Philippine-initiated resolution on the Manila Declaration.

Del Rosario said the resolution was approved by consensus at a recent session of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations.  It is up for adoption at the Sixth Committee and the General Assembly.

Del Rosario and Ban also discussed the convening of high level meetings on mediation this month and on the rule of law in September.
The UN chief lauded the Philippines for its role in promoting mediation and for its contribution to the report on mediation that he was preparing for release in July.

"I hope that our work on promoting mediation will build on the groundwork already laid by the Manila Declaration,” Ban said, adding that “preventing conflict is one of my five priority agendas in the UN.”

He agreed on the importance of mediation as one of the viable means of peacefully settling disputes.

"These are crucial in today’s world…these efforts should translate into greater respect for the peaceful settlement of disputes and the rule of law,” Del Rosario said.

Del Rosario reiterated that the Philippine government remained committed to a peaceful solution of its territorial dispute with China over Panatag Shoal based on the UN Charter, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and international law.

"We believe that the unfolding events are of great interest to all nations, as they have a stake in the peace and stability of this economically and politically strategic area," he said.


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