FULL TEXT: DFA chief addresses UN tribunal at The Hague

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Foreign Affairs Sec. Albert del Rosario on Tuesday gave a statement before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands explaining why the Philippines filed the case against China.

The full text of his speech, as it was delivered, was released by the Department of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday with the subtitle “Why the Philippines brought this case to arbitration and its importance to the region and the world.”

 

1. Mr. President, distinguished Members of the Tribunal, it is a great honor to respectfully appear before you on behalf of my country, the Republic of the Philippines. It is indeed a special privilege to do so in a case that has such importance to all Filipinos and — if I may add — to the rule of law in international relations.

2. Mr. President, the Philippines has long placed its faith in the rules and institutions that the international community has created to regulate relations among States. We are proud to have been a founding member of the United Nations, and an active participant in that indispensable institution.

3. Its organs, coupled with the power of international law, serve as the great equalizer among States, allowing countries, such as my own, to stand on an equal footing with wealthier, more powerful States.

4. Nowhere is this more true, Mr. President, than with respect to the progressive development of the law of the sea, which culminated in the adoption of the Law of the Sea Convention in 1982. That instrument, which has rightly been called a “Constitution for the Oceans,” counts among its most important achievements the establishment of clear rules regarding the peaceful use of the seas, freedom of navigation, protection of the maritime environment and, perhaps most importantly, clearly defined limits on the maritime areas in which States are entitled to exercise sovereign rights and jurisdiction.

Read more: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2015/07/08/1474692/full-text-dfa-chief-addresses-un-tribunal-hague

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