24 SEPTEMBER 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Embassy of the Philippines, in cooperation with the University of the Philippines Law Center – Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea (IMLOS), organized a webinar entitled Towards a Maritime Pax Ordinis: The Philippines and UNCLOS. It was held in celebration of the Maritime and Archipelagic Nation Awareness Month (MANA Mo) and the 40th Anniversary of the signing of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The lecture was provided by Mr. Neil S. Silva, Legal Officer at IMLOS and a Lecturer on Constitutional Law, Legal Theory, and Peace Processes at the University of the Philippines College of Law. Third Secretary and Vice Consul Mark Dominic Lim served as the moderator.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez said that the Embassy fully supports MANA Mo 2022 and reached out to IMLOS to craft a short lecture that would provide our Kababayans in the U.S. an overview and a general understanding of UNCLOS and its importance to the Philippines as an archipelagic state.
Mr. Silva gave a brief but comprehensive lecture on the historical precedents and developments that led to the signing and entry into force of UNCLOS, the Philippines as an archipelagic state and how it helped shape the Convention and is impacted by its provisions, and the importance UNCLOS in the settlement of maritime disputes, such as through the arbitral case on the South China Sea filed by the Philippines against China. He highlighted that Filipinos overseas could do their part in swaying public opinion in support of the Philippines and its maritime claims.
In his closing remarks, Deputy Chief of Mission Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon, Jr. thanked Mr. Silva for his comprehensive lecture, which also highlighted the contributions of the Philippines to international law and UNCLOS as well as the way forward in ensuring Philippine interests in the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea and in addressing other maritime issues.
The webinar ended by encouraging the participants to promote MANA Mo by sharing their valuable insights about the Philippines and UNCLOS with others. Third Secretary and Vice Consul Lim said, “it is our responsibility to become involved and participate in the public discourse when it comes to our own territory and the Philippines.”###