Statement on the 7th Anniversary of West Philippine Sea Ruling

July 12, 2023

Today, we commemorate the 7th anniversary of the historic Hague arbitral ruling issued by the International Permanent Court of Arbitration, which affirmed our country’s territorial claims covered by the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and territories in the West Philippine Sea.

This historic ruling is crucial in strengthening our country’s efforts to preserve our territorial integrity, protect maritime resources, and our duty to safeguard marine biodiversity.

I commend the continuous efforts of our government in asserting our sovereign rights over territorial waters while maintaining the primacy of diplomatic relations.

Furthermore, it is with great anticipation and enthusiasm that we acknowledge the new UN high seas treaty. Adopted by the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ), the treaty holds the potential to create a comprehensive framework for the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources beyond national jurisdiction. It is an opportunity for us to contribute to shaping a global governance regime that will ensure the protection of our marine environment and promote equitable access to resources, in line with the Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Let us remain resolute in upholding the principles of international law, promoting peace, and protecting our national interest through a continuous call for the effective implementation of the Hague ruling to benefit our countrymen, our children, and the next generation of Filipinos.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!