Yes, elevate ruling to UN but not now



To the question of whether we should elevate the arbitral ruling upholding our maritime rights to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for enforcement, my answer is “Yes, but not now, not during this regime.”

Why “Yes”? Because the UNGA is the best forum to help us enforce the ruling. Should the UNGA side with us, China — the proponents say — would become a rogue state, a pariah that would be compelled by international public opinion to respect our maritime victory.

In a joint statement, former foreign secretary Albert Del Rosario and retired Supreme Court justices Antonio T. Carpio and Conchita Carpio Morales argued that 145 of the 193 UNGA members have ocean and sea borders. Ergo, logically and reasonably, they would vote in favor of enforcing the ruling to uphold their national interest.

By so doing, these 145 littoral states would be reaffirming the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (Unclos) which extended their old territorial sea limit of three miles to 12 miles, and recognized their exclusive economic zone of 200 miles and a continental shelf of up to 350 miles — both counted from their shorelines—from which they could extract natural and aquatic resources. Again, logical and reasonable.

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