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26 May 2015 – The Philippines hosted a Seminar-Workshop on the Implementation of the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the SCS (DOC) from May 14 to 15 in Makati City where some 120 officials from all ASEAN Member States and the People’s Republic of China, as well as members from the academe and policy think tanks participated.

Undersecretary for Administration and Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Linglingay F. Lacanlale delivered the welcome remarks.  ASEAN-China Joint Working Group Co-Chairs, Thailand and China delivered opening statements, through the Thai Ambassador to the Philippines Thanatip Upatising, and the China Institute of International Studies Vice President Zongze Ruan.

The Seminar-Workshop discussed the way forward for the full and effective implementation of the DOC by using as references best practices and jurisprudence in public international law and diplomacy, and contribute to the ASEAN-China Joint Working Group on the Implementation of the DOC (ACJWG) process. An important element of this process is coming up with a common understanding of how provisions of the DOC are to be operationalized, including paragraphs 4 and 5 on the non-use of force and the exercise of self-restraint among parties to the dispute.

Distinguished experts in the law of the sea, international law and maritime issues were invited as resource speakers in the Seminar-Workshop. These experts were Arif Havas Oegroseno, Deputy Minister for Maritime Sovereignty of Indonesia; Professor Carlyle Thayer of the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy; Dr. Tran Truong Thuy of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam; Dr. Diane Desierto of the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law and the ASEAN Law and Integration Center (ALIC); Professor Dapo Akande of the University of Oxford; Professor Geneviѐve Bastid Burdeau of the Sorbonne Law School, University of Paris 1; Dr. James Kraska from the U.S. Naval War College; Professor Mariko Kawano of Waseda University; Ms. Sumathy Permal of the Maritime Institute of Malaysia; and Professor Xue Guifang of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

The output of the Seminar-Workshop will be reported to the next meeting of the ASEAN-China Joint Working Group. END