Intervention of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the 18th East Asia Summit (EAS)

Speeches 7 September 2023

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
Your Majesty,
Your Excellencies,

Great upheavals abound in the international landscape. We are compelled to face complex challenges ranging from the intensification of geopolitical tensions, food and energy insecurity, and the acceleration of the climate crisis.

We call on ASEAN and our partners to harness our shared interests and rally us into taking joint action, guided by ASEAN Centrality and universal multilateralism.

We must not allow tensions in the South China Sea to further escalate. In this spirit and in accordance with the DOC, we continue to urge all parties to exercise self-restraint and refrain from unilateral and assertive activities that would increase tensions in the region, misunderstandings, and miscalculations in the South China Sea.

We are concerned over consistent actions that are in violation of obligations under international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, and under the DOC.

The Philippines fully supports adherence to international law and the rules-based order. We must oppose the dangerous use of coast guard and maritime militia vessels in the South China Sea. We are concerned over illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and the militarization of reclaimed features in the South China Sea.

The Philippines remains resolute towards the peaceful resolution of disputes. We continue to support freedom of navigation and overflight, and the rules-based international order in the South China Sea.

We are pleased that at the last negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) hosted by Manila a few weeks ago, progress was made in discussing the milestone issues and a preliminary review of the Single Draft Negotiating Text (SDNT). The early conclusion of an effective and substantive COC that is in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, remains our goal.

We are still committed to defending our sovereignty, our sovereign rights, and the maritime jurisdiction in accordance with UNCLOS.

Your Majesty,

The Philippines is concerned about the buildup of rising powers in global weapon stockpiles.

Together with the threat of the use of nuclear weapons in the conflict in Ukraine as well as the recent surge of intercontinental ballistic missile tests and other actions taken by the DPRK, these pose untold dangers to global peace and security.

We call on the DPRK to fully comply with all relevant UN Security Council resolutions towards the realization of lasting peace and stability in a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

The Philippines has consistently reaffirmed our support for the principles and purposes of the UN Charter, especially of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence, with respect to the conflict in Ukraine as well as other areas of concern.

The Philippines firmly believes that it is now necessary to create conditions for a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Ukraine. We call on all countries to play a constructive role in contributing to this endeavor, particularly our partners.

Mr. Chair,

On the continuing violence in Myanmar, we continue to call for the complete implementation of the Five-Point Consensus. We support the Special Envoy of ASEAN in pushing the Consensus forward.

The Philippines believes that key to any solution is the inclusive participation of all parties as required in the constructive dialogue called for by the Five-Point Consensus.

We maintain that endeavors by other parties to address the crisis should support and complement ASEAN’s efforts, and should be done in consultation with the ASEAN Chair.

Your Majesty,

Countries with the smallest carbon footprints disproportionately bear the heaviest burden of climate change.

We need to urgently realize the Loss and Damage Fund (LDF) to catalyze assistance to address climate change.

Climate financing, complemented by viable and effective technology transfer and country specific capacity-building, is needed to expedite a just transition to a climate-resilient economy.

We seek your support towards the development of our strategic minerals supply and value chains, which would boost our efforts in ensuring a resilient and sustainable future for our region.

The Philippines will always continue to champion an open and inclusive regional order where the rule of law and ASEAN Centrality remain the bedrock of an evolving regional architecture.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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