Philippines Welcomes Support for the 2016 Arbitral Award at East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

ASEAN Arbitral Award 1

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. delivers the Philippines’ intervention at the 11th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (EAS FMM) held on 04 August 2021, via videoconference.

PASAY CITY, 04 August 2021 — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. welcomed support for the 2016 Arbitral Award and reaffirmed the 1982 UNCLOS as the legal framework within which all the activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out at the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held on 04 August 2021 via video conference.

“The Philippines aspires for the South China Sea to remain a sea of peace, security, stability, and prosperity. But it will never pay for that with its national honor or a square inch of territory or a drop of water that is its own,” said Secretary Locsin at the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting,

Secretary Locsin also highlighted Philippine priorities in relation to pressing security challenges in the region including addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and making vaccines a global public good, combatting the climate crisis, cooperation in the Indo-Pacific in line with the ASEAN Outlook, and implementing the Five-Point Consensus to address the situation in Myanmar.

EAS Foreign Ministers expressed their initiatives to aid the region in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, exchanged views on regional and international issues in the region, reiterated their pledges to the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund, and shared updates on their initiatives to assist the region in combatting the pandemic, including Australia’s  AUS$523 million worth of  vaccine and health security assistance, of which AUS$300 million  is allocated for Southeast Asia; Japan’s US$ 1billion contribution to COVAX; Russia’s provision of Sputnik V vaccines to Asia Pacific countries; and US contribution of  23 million doses and more than $158 million in emergency health and humanitarian assistance to ASEAN member states .

The EAS, composed of the 10 ASEAN Member States and the Plus Eight (+8) East Asia Participating Countries: Australia, China, Japan, India, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia, and the United States of America, is a forum for dialogue on broad strategic, political, and economic issues of common interest. The 16th East Asia Summit, to be attended by the Leaders, will be held in October this year. END

 ASEAN Arbitral Award 2

The EAS Foreign Ministers, with the ASEAN Secretary General, discuss the future direction of EAS cooperation.