Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the Award rendered in the Arbitration between the Republic of the Philippines and the People's Republic of China (15/07/2016)
The European Union and its Member
States, as contracting parties to the United Nations Convention on the
Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), acknowledge the Award rendered by the Arbitral
Tribunal, being committed to maintaining a legal order of the seas and
oceans based upon the principles of international law, UNCLOS, and to
the peaceful settlement of disputes.
EU does not take a position on sovereignty aspects relating to claims.
It expresses the need for the parties to the dispute to resolve it
through peaceful means, to clarify their claims and pursue them in
respect and in accordance with international law, including the work in
the framework of UNCLOS.
EU recalls that the dispute settlement mechanisms as provided under
UNCLOS contribute to the maintenance and furthering of the international
order based upon the Rule of Law and are essential to settle disputes.
EU also underlines the fundamental importance of upholding the freedoms,
rights and duties established in UNCLOS, in particular the freedoms of
navigation and overflight.
EU supports the swift conclusion of talks aiming at an effective Code of
Conduct between ASEAN and China implementing the 2002 Declaration on
the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.
its Statement of 11 March 2016, the EU calls upon the parties concerned
to address remaining and further related issues through negotiations
and other peaceful means and refrain from activities likely to raise
tensions. As a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and as a High
Contracting Party to the 1976 Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in South
East Asia, the EU also wishes to "foster cooperation in the furtherance
of the cause of peace, harmony, and stability in the region". The EU
therefore stands ready to facilitate activities which help to build
confidence between the parties concerned.
underlining the importance of all States working together to protect
the marine ecosystem already endangered by the intensification of
maritime traffic and dredging, the EU and its Member States will
continue to organise High Level Dialogues on Maritime Security
Cooperation and the exchange of best practices on joint management and
development of shared resources, such as fisheries, as well as on