Aquino seeks UN support on sea row

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Myanmar President U Thein Sein welcomes President Benigno Aquino 3rd upon his arrival at the Front Concourse of the Myanmar International Convention Center for the opening ceremony of the 25TH Asean Summit on Wednesday. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

Myanmar President U Thein Sein welcomes President Benigno Aquino 3rd upon his arrival at the Front Concourse of the Myanmar International Convention Center for the opening ceremony of the 25TH Asean Summit on Wednesday. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

NAY PYI TAW, Myanmar: President Benigno Aquino 3rd has sought the support of India and other members of the United Nations in easing tensions in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

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The President made the appeal in his intervention during the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)-India Summit held at the Sapphire Hall of the Myanmar International Convention Center on Wednesday.

“He [President Aquino] sought the support of India and other United Nations member-nations for the Philippines’ ‘proposal to reduce the rising level of tensions’ in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea that was presented at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly last October,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement issued after the summit.

Aquino cited the recently concluded Bay of Bengal Maritime Boundary Arbitration between India and Bangladesh as “a good example” that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) and its International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (Itlos) “provide the most rational, NAY PYI TAW, Myanmar: President Benigno Aquino 3rd has sought the support of India and other members of the United Nations in easing tensions in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

The President made the appeal in his intervention during the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)-India Summit held at the Sapphire Hall of the Myanmar International Convention Center on Wednesday.

“He [President Aquino] sought the support of India and other United Nations member-nations for the Philippines’ ‘proposal to reduce the rising level of tensions’ in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea that was presented at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly last October,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement issued after the summit.

Aquino cited the recently concluded Bay of Bengal Maritime Boundary Arbitration between India and Bangladesh as “a good example” that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) and its International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (Itlos) “provide the most rational, just and right mechanism for countries to find harmony and understanding in the face of their differences.”

Tensions between the Philippines and China escalated in recent years as Beijing aggressively pressed its claim over resource-rich islands in the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippine government has opted to resolve the conflict through diplomatic and legal means by filing an arbitration case before the Itlos, which China has refused to recognize.

During the summit, Aquino congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his recent election as leader of the second most populous country in the world.

He signified the Philippines’ interest to work with India in promoting its proposal to establish an Asean-India task force on maritime connectivity.

Asean leaders also on Wednesday adopted a declaration on the Asean Community’s Post-2015 Vision.

The Nay Pyi Taw Declaration will serve as the basis for a comprehensive roadmap for the regional bloc beyond 2015.

The Asean Community, which is to be established by the end of 2015, will cover some 600 million people with a combined gross domestic product of $2 trillion.

The Asean leaders also approved a joint statement on climate change.
At the summit headed by Myanmar President U Thein Sein, they deliberated topics on Asean community-building, future of the Asean Community beyond 2015 and strengthening of Asean institutions.

It is the first time that Myanmar takes the rotating Asean chairmanship since it joined the 10-member bloc in 1997.

PNA

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