Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Perfecto Yasay on Wednesday said the joint statement of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a “victory” for the bloc as it upholds the importance of international law despite the non-inclusion of the international court ruling on the
South China Sea row in their statement.
In a press conference, Yasay said he “vigorously” pushed for reference to the arbitral award in the joint statement, but said he was already “happy” with the joint communiqué citing the bloc’s commitment in pursuing a peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law.
Foreign ministers from the ASEAN-member states gathered for the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM) in
from Sunday to Monday. Vientiane
“The ASEAN has not taken any sides with regards to this case. ASEAN recognized and respected the legal processes we went through in filing the case,” Yasay said.
The DFA Chief stressed that the case filed before the arbitral tribunal only concerns
and the . Philippines
“Resolving the dispute within the context of international law of UNCLOS is a matter for
alone,” he said. Philippines
He also dispelled reports asserting that
China came out victorious after the
reportedly withdrew a proposal to include the historic arbitration ruling in
the bloc’s statement. Philippines
“I am just saying this to dispel the reports that have been said that
came out victorious in the ASEAN meeting because we precisely agreed to not
mentioning the arbitral award,” he said. China
Yasay also acknowledged the designation of former President Fidel V. Ramos to engage
in bilateral talks, saying that the matter must be pursued immediately. China
“We would hope that this would be pursued as soon as possible and we are hoping that
will come up with a position that would allow these bilateral talks to
proceed,” he said. China