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24/06/2011: Secretary Del Rosario Heralds PH-US Strategic Alliance in CSIS Forum

Shown in the photo above is Secretary Albert del Rosario (right) and Mr. Ernie Bower of the CSIS (left).

24 June 2011, Washington DC. The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Southeast Asia Program hosted yesterday, 23 June 2011, Philippines Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. del Rosario, who spoke about the Philippine-United States alliance.  The event was attended by representatives from the academe, government, business, think tanks, media and diplomatic community.

In his remarks Secretary del Rosario said “the United States remains the Philippines’ foremost strategic ally” citing shared values and ideals, wars that have been fought together, bilateral trade and investment, development assistance, and people-to-people relations.  He added that a reset in Philippine-U.S. ties “has become an imperative, to allow the alliance to continue to meet domestic goals, while contributing to global stability.”

A question and answer forum was conducted following the Secretary’s address with many of the queries touching on the South China Sea issue.  Secretary del Rosario replied that “the primacy of international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), is the cornerstone on which we define and protect our territory and maritime entitlements in the South China Sea.”  He offered a framework “that transforms the South China Sea from an area of dispute to a Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship, and Cooperation (ZoPFF/C) by a segregation of disputed relevant features from the undisputed waters of the South China Sea consistent with UNCLOS.”

The CSIS is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization founded in 1962 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. It seeks to advance global security and prosperity by providing strategic insights and policy solutions to decision makers. Its Southeast Asia program, headed by Mr. Ernie Bower, serves as a forum for U.S. policy in that region.  END