Philippines to Seek UN Arbitration in Spratlys

Inquirer Global Nation
July 19, 2011

Despite China’s aggressive posture on the issue, the Philippines announced Tuesday that it plans to use UN arbitration to resolve its claims with China over parts of the resource-rich West Philippine Sea. The decision to use arbitration is provided for by the UN Convention on the Law and the Sea (UNCLOS) and it does not require the agreement of the other party.

The Philippine government was forced to take the arbitration route because China has rejected other alternatives including appearing before the Tribunal for the Law of the Sea which is a judicial body set up by UNCLOS in the 1980’s. While China insists on dealing with the matter bilaterally, Filipino Foreign Affairs Secretary Del Rosario said, “as a result we have to look at other dispute settlement mechanism where we can do it by ourselves.”

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