Dispute Settlement and Maritime Delimitation Workshop for ASEAN Member States delivered in the Philippines

The Foundation, in cooperation with ASEAN, and cohosted by the Philippines, held its third workshop for ASEAN nominees

Following the successes of the first two virtual workshops, the Foundation held its third ASEAN workshop in-person entitled, Peaceful Settlement of Disputes and Maritime Boundary Delimitation, from 12 to 14 July 2022. The Philippines graciously volunteered to co-host the workshop in Manila. All ASEAN Member States nominated candidates to attend the workshops in person and in the end, 24 participants from nine ASEAN Member States were able to participate. Opening remarks were provided by H.E. Ambassador Anke Reiffenstuel, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of the Philippines, and Maria Angela A. Ponce, the Assistant Secretary, Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office, Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines. Invited experts Prof. Robert Beckman and Prof. Tara Davenport of the National University of Singapore joined Foundation Staff in leading three days of inclusive discussions and activities which delved into peaceful dispute settlement in the law of the sea with a focus on the ASEAN region.

The first day kicked off with a session on the scope of dispute settlements in the law of the sea including Part XV of UNCLOS and other treaties related to the purposes of UNCLOS. Detailed discussions on the compulsory dispute settlement procedures in UNCLOS, as well as the principle of indispensable parties to a dispute, were followed by a dispute settlement roundtable engaging all participants.

Day two focused on a deeper understanding of particular avenues or proceedings in dispute settlement. The day’s analysis included prompt release proceedings, provisional measure proceedings, compulsory conciliation and advisory opinions within the law of the sea. The day concluded with hypothetical problem questions which allowed participants to share their expertise and apply the legal provisions previously discussed to concrete cases.

The third day was dedicated to maritime delineation and delimitation. The two presentations respectively focused on the roles of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) and maritime features in zonal delineation and delimitation, including practices from the ASEAN region in particular. Interactive activities on the final day included an informal sharing of questions and answers on any regional law of the sea topics, as well as a maritime delimitation negotiation exercise.

The workshop provided an opportunity for participants from ASEAN Member States to discuss an array of procedural and substantive issues in law of the sea dispute settlement, including their various rights and obligations therein. This workshop is part of an ASEAN Cooperation Project, generously funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, the purpose of which is to strengthen maritime peace and security in Southeast Asia and promote regional cooperation on the law of the sea and related matters. The Foundation looks forward to continued cooperation with ASEAN in delivering all aspects of the ASEAN Cooperation Project, which implements the Foundation’s project, entitled, Promoting Maritime Peace and Security in Southeast Asia.