ASEAN: Follow UNCLOS in South China Sea row



Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 27) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations said Saturday international law must be followed, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, amid the South China Sea row.

The UNCLOS is an international treaty that covers a comprehensive regime of law and order in the world’s oceans and seas. It establishes rules governing all uses of the oceans and their resources, and guarantees the right of innocent passage.

“We discussed the situation in the South China Sea, during which concerns were expressed on the land reclamations, recent developments, activities and serious incidents,” regional leaders said in the ASEAN Chairman’s statement. “We reaffirmed that the 1982 UNCLOS is the basis for determining maritime entitlements, sovereign rights, jurisdiction, and legitimate interests over maritime zones.”

This comes after concerns over recent actions in the disputed area were raised during the 36th ASEAN Summit on Friday. President Rodrigo Duterte also brought up how there have been “alarming incidents” in the South China Sea.

“We emphasised the importance of non-militarisation and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities by claimants and all other states,” the statement added.

During the 32nd ASEAN Summit in 2018, the Chairman’s statement also addressed militarization in the territory.