Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario represented Philippines in the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) High Level General Debate held at UN Headquarters in New York, September 29. The session’s theme is “The Challenges to Peace and Development.”
Del Rosario iterates how Philippines resorted to peaceful resolution of maritime dispute by upholding 1982 UN Convention
on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) instead of using force and unilateral declarations.
He told the assembly that Philippines invited China to settle maritime disputes through arbitration, however, “it has refused to join us and has continued to unilaterally embark on an expansionist claim that violates the legitimate rights of the Philippines and other littoral neighbors under UNCLOS such as their Exclusive Economic Zones and Continental Shelves.”
China “embarked on a series of dangerous, reckless and forceful activities in an attempt to impose unilateral change in the maritime status quo of the South China Sea,” Philippine Foreign Affairs chief told the assembly addressing to UNGA President Sam Kutesa.
Del Rosario enumerated how China made unilateral activities and jeopardized peace and stability of the South China Sea.
The said State forcibly occupied Scarborough Shoal in 2012 and conducted reclamation in Johnson Reef, McKennan and Hughes Reef, Cuarteron Reef and Gaven Reef in the Spratlys.