World Bulletin / News Desk
The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs announced Monday that the country is hosting a forum on international cooperation on the South China Sea issue.
Participants include senior diplomats, policymakers and maritime cooperation scholars from the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China.
"The seminar seeks to build on what we have achieved so far in our efforts to build trust and confidence among the parties involved in the South China Sea issue," Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said as quoted by The Philippine Star.
The forum is taking place despite recent reports of Beijing’s island building activities in the disputed waters.
Cayetano said the two-day seminar in Manila on the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea ends August 29.
"The seminar also seeks to boost regional efforts to ensure peace and stability in the South China Sea, to help prevent maritime accidents and to preserve and protect the marine environment and promote sustainable fisheries," he added.
Cayetano said the seminar highlights the Philippines’ commitment to implement the DOC while efforts to improve the Code of Conduct are continuously made.
“These practical measures are essential in ensuring that the region remains peaceful and stable and that the interests of coastal states like the Philippines are protected.”
The country first hosted a seminar on the South China Sea in 2015 which focused on discussions on the peaceful settlement of disputes and what constitutes self-restraint on activities of claimant states in the contested waters.
A joint communique was issued by ASEAN early this month which expressed concerns on Chinese reclamation activities and called for the "non-militarization" of the disputed waters.
Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea, including a cluster of islands, reefs and atolls further south called the Spratlys. ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have overlapping claims on the waters.
Israeli national security adviser meets Russian counterpart in Moscow to discuss Syrian developments
NATO's breakdown is not inevitable -- we can maintain it, and all the benefits we derive, argues Jens Stoltenburg
Some interesting facts about Muslim nations and the players in this year’s competition.
Global tide of forcibly displaced people rose 2.9M last year; Turkey hosts largest refugee population, most Syrians
Republican-controlled Senate votes 85-10 for fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said earlier that nearly 40 foreign fighters allied to Syria's regime were killed in the raid in eastern Syria.
Osman Askin Bak says Turkey prepared to host 2024 UEFA European Football Championship
12,845 registered Turkish voters cast ballots for Turkey's presidential, general elections in New York
Settlers clash with Israeli police over illegal settlement outpost built on Palestinian land
Israeli army strikes at al-Bureij refugee camp in Gaza Strip
US will implement 25 percent tariff on Chinese goods that 'contain industrially significant technologies,' White House says
Airstrikes target PKK terror group in mountainous Qandil region
Colombians go to the polls in the second round of presidential elections
Restaurant chain to ditch plastic drinking straws in UK by 2019 and begin testing alternatives elsewhere
Nearly $200M still frozen after Trump authorizes administration to use funds to bolster White Helmets, UN