MANILA, Philippines - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to "clearly outline its position on the Scarborough Shoal" before it affects everyone and not just those currently involved.
"What might be a challenge today for some of ASEAN’s members, if left unaddressed by all of ASEAN, could lead tomorrow to issues that may become problems for other ASEAN members," she said during the ASEAN-US Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh.
She said the US is looking to ASEAN to "provide leadership" on the issue.
"ASEAN needs to meet its own goals and standards and be able to speak with one voice on issues facing the region," she said.
Clinton co-chaired the meeting with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, who said the situation in the entire West Philippine Sea deserves attention from the members of ASEAN.
He said: "The adherence of all countries in the region to a set of fair and transparent rules, as embodied in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), will generate greater mutual trust and respect in the region."
Clinton also agreed that ASEAN should complete the regional Code of Conduct "in a timely fashion."