(Sponsored by the Philippines)
The 14th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum,
Committed to promote regional cooperation for the further advancement of peace, freedom, democracy and prosperity in the region and as such, gives due consideration to issues relating to regional peace and security;
Recognizing the disputes in specific areas in the South China Sea is a long standing issue among a number of Asian countries;
Recalling that overlapping claims resulted in several military incidents and in several countries awarding foreign companies exploration rights in the same area of the South China Sea;
Concerned that conflict in specific areas in the South China Sea could likewise have an impact on the global economy with around a quarter of world’s total shipping trade passing through the area every year;
Believing that territorial and jurisdictional disputes should be resolved through diplomatic negotiations rather than the use of force, threat or intimidation;
Aware of the existence of the “Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea”, which was signed during the 6th China-ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh and states that the parties undertake to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability;
Recognizing that the Declaration has defused tensions in this area;
Aware that the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), an international law agreed to by countries of the world, is aimed at ensuring and protecting the maritime rights of state and regulating maritime undertakings;
Aware further that the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) states that parties shall settle any dispute between them by peaceful means of their own choice in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;
Appreciating the initiative of Indonesia on the convening of a series of workshop on managing potential conflicts in specific areas in the South China Sea, and stressing the importance of the continuance of such an initiative aimed to promote confidence building among concerned countries;
Aware of the existence of the tripartite agreement for joint marine and seismic undertaking in the South China Sea signed by the national oil companies of China, Vietnam and the Philippines as it is a step forward in turning the South China Sea into an area of cooperation.
1. Encourage the concerned countries to undertake cooperative arrangements in exploring the disputed areas and fairly sharing the benefits derived from such activities.
2. Urges the concerned countries to adhere to the applicable provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in undertaking such exploratory, developmental arrangements for their mutual benefits.
3. Ensure that the disputed areas of the specific areas in the South China Sea be converted into a zone of peace without which joint development of its rich resources would never materialize and that a moratorium on adverse activities be enforced to pave way for joint economic exploratory projects.