THE PHILIPPINES has won a seat in an international commission tasked to facilitate the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) concerning the outer limits of a state’s continental shelf.
The country will hold the position in the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) from 2023 to 2028, according to a tweet by the Philippine Mission to the UN.
With 113 votes from 164 state parties, the Philippines reached the required majority after four rounds of voting during the 32nd UNCLOS meeting held in New York on Wednesday.
The Philippines competed with eight other candidates under the Asia-Pacific Group.
“To the countries that voted for the candidate of the Philippines which is the only one that studies to fight and win, on the merits, the rights of countries with continental shelfs, I thank you,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. said in a tweet on Thursday.
He said this was “yet another victory” as it was “the end of cartelized choices in a universal institution.”
“This is not a job but a mission.”
Efren P. Carandang, deputy administrator of the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), will be representing the Philippines at the CLCS.
Mr. Locsin described Mr. Carandang as “the Philippines’ foremost authority on the technical intricacies of the law of the sea, which is to say that he is one of the very best in the world.”
He has served in NAMRIA and its precursor agency for 38 years.
He was also part of the Philippine delegation that successfully submitted the relevant charts and coordinates of the outer limits of the Philippines’ continental shelf with the International Seabed Authority.
This is the first time that the Philippines, an archipelagic state, will serve in the commission.
Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the UN Enrique A. Manalo has said that “the Philippine candidature to the CLCS is a demonstration of our consistent adherence to international law-based regime in maritime governance and the peaceful use of the world’s seas and oceans.”
“The outer limits established through this process become the fixed boundaries between the seabed areas within national jurisdictions and the international seabed areas, which are reserved for common heritage,” the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the UN said in an earlier statement. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan