MANILA — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. expressed disappointment over what he said was Australia’s decision not to support the Philippine candidate to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), one of the UN bodies that implement the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Locsin said that he thought Australia and the Philippines were partners in upholding rules-based order in the maritime domain, and pointed out his support for the trilateral security pact among Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
“I am extremely disappointed Australia cannot support our candidature to the CLCS. Stuck out my neck for AUKUS. Thought we were partners in upholding rules-based order in the maritime domain. Come through for us,” the DFA quoted Locsin as saying while tagging the Australian Ambassador on Twitter.
Australia has not issued a response as of press time.
Locsin at the UN last May had personally campaigned for Efren Carandang, Deputy Administrator of the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), to become a member of the CLCS for the term 2023 to 2028. The election is set this month at the UN in New York.
The DFA chief had described Carandang as “the Philippines’ foremost authority on the technical intricacies of the law of the sea” who has an “extensive experience in hydrography and understanding of its ramifications in international maritime law” and was part of the core team that developed the Philippine submission for the Philippine Rise.
Locsin stressed the significance of having Carandang elected in the body, a first for the Philippines, an “archipelagic state”, should it happen.
“Should Efren be elected, he will dedicate his skills and experience to hasten the consideration of coastal States' submissions on their continental shelves. He will share his management skills to help the CLCS overcome its operational challenges and thereby improve its performance," Locsin said in his remarks at the UN published by the DFA last May.
"His service in the Commission will be consistent with his advocacy for the full and consistent application of international law, including UNCLOS, particularly on the determination of maritime entitlements, delineation of maritime zones and delimitation of international maritime boundaries."
The Philippines, said Locsin, is committed to defining its extended continental shelves and to peaceful resolution “as first resort and sincere best effort” as evidenced by the Philippines’ turning to arbitration under UNCLOS “to determine our rights and entitlements in the South China Sea.”
According to the UN website, the purpose of the CLCS is to facilitate the implementation of the UNCLOS in respect of the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.
The Commission shall also make recommendations to coastal States on matters related to the establishment of those limits with its recommendations and actions not to prejudice matters relating to the delimitation of boundaries between States with opposite or adjacent coasts.
FROM THE ARCHIVES