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    Posted May 23, 2014 by
    omeroscar
    Location
    Manila

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    Forum delegates in Manila warned

     
    THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Manila on Friday urged countries involved in the dispute in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) not to take unilateral actions as this will worsen the space for cooperation.
    Undersecretary for International Economic Relations Laura Del Rosario
    “ASEAN should encourage the major actors not to engage in unilateral actions that will create another worse space for cooperation. The more striving, the other countries have become the harder it is to resolve the issue,” Undersecretary for International Economic Relations Laura del Rosario said.
    Del Rosario issued the call during the third day of the World Economic Forum on East Asia (WEF-EA) being held in Manila.
    She urged parties involved in the WPS conflict to resort in rules-based approach.
    “Following the international rules is the best building measure that one can have,” she added. “We believe that transparency will eventually lead to good governance and with good governance everybody will feel secure.”
    She also said that expanding strategic partnership and network of alliance is a weapon for ASEAN members so they “will not be played against the other.”
    Moreover, talking about security in the region, Del Rosario recommended that ASEAN members must redefine ASEAN centrality in order to balance regional interest from national interest of each member-state.
    “On the ASEAN side I think we should restudy and reexamine and redefine what do we mean by ASEAN centrality. More and more people are beginning to see that there is extension now between interest of ASEAN as a group and national interest. And if we cannot balance this, if we forget that paramount to our national interest is the protection of their regional interest, then we can be easily divided. Then we can be easily dividing ourselves and we will not be able to work cooperatively,” she stressed.

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