Saturday, November 16, 2013

ASEAN faces challenge to promote cooperation and dispute resolution in territorial maritime row

MANILA-Finding a solution to territorial disputes was high on the agenda in the recently concluded East Asia Summit. Observers noted that China has been more forthcoming on the issue than in the past, but still no breakthrough has been achieved on the heated issue of overlapping maritime boundaries and multiple countries claiming the same group of islands.

The prospect of a Code of Conduct (CoC) remains vague. Disputing countries continue to seek solutions according to international legal principles, but realize that a judicial solution may be a protracted one.

On December 5, top international experts will meet to explore ways to resolve the Asian territorial maritime dispute and promote regional cooperation in a roundtable discussion titled "What Is to Be Done? Resolving Maritime Disputes in Southeast Asia", organized by the Angara Centre for Law and Economics at the Marriott Hotel, Resorts World Manila.

World-renowned experts Donald Emmerson of Stanford University, Shen Dingli of Fudan University in China, Ian Storey of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, Yoichiro Sato of the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Japan, and Professor Harry Roque of the University of the Philippines will form the distinguished panel of speakers.

Former Senator Edgardo J. Angara will keynote the event. Angara recently concluded over two decades of service in the Senate, having led the enactment of landmark laws like the Free High School Act, creation of CHED and TESDA, PhilHealth Act, Senior Citizens Act, and many others.

A former UP President, Angara initiated the creation of the UP Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea (UP-IMLOS), which specializes in law and policy research services for the different maritime industries—shipping, fishing, seafaring and other marine resource uses.  It also provides legal advice and policy support in all maritime fields, including marine environment protection, maritime boundaries, maritime law enforcement, maritime security, and territorial studies.

The forum and roundtable discussions will be moderated by Prof. John Nye of George Mason University, Executive Director of the Angara Centre. By gathering an international panel of experts to assess the issue from an objective standpoint, the roundtable aims to identify new channels and approaches which can contribute to finding alternative approaches and solutions to the problem and possible policy recommendations.

The event is sponsored by Asia United Bank.


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