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Indonesia urges region's lawmakers: Uphold Unclos

INDONESIA called on the countries belonging to the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) to respect the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) and «double efforts» in maintaining peace and stability in the region.

The Indonesian lawmakers made the proposal in a draft resolution they submitted to the 31st APPF meeting which opened Thursday at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

The resolution urged the APPF's member-states to strengthen the commitment in «promoting and maintaining peace, security, stability, safety, and freedom of navigation across the East and South China Sea.»

Senate President Juan Miguel «Migz» Zubiri said the Indonesian resolution «has persuasive powers if we adopt it. When they (APPF member lawmakers) go back to their countries they can discuss this particular issue and present the agreements that we made,» Zubiri said during a joint press briefing with House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.

Indonesia urged the grouping to pursue peaceful resolutions of the disputes in the South China Sea based on universally recognized principles of international law.

It also proposed joint cooperation in combating transnational organized crimes.

Some members of the APPF, including the Philippines and China, have conflicting claims in the South China Sea, believed to be rich in gas and mineral deposits.

Manila and Beijing have been accusing each other of violating the Unclos in asserting their claims.

The Indonesian delegation said the APPF must abide by the Unclos and ensure the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DoC).

Indonesia also urged the APPF to continue working on protecting the safety of the sea line communications both in East and South China Sea for search and rescue, preventing oil spills, regulation of maritime installations and counter operations against piracy and terrorism, trade shipping lines, gathering natural sea resources, and other sea-based activities.

Zubiri and Romualdez welcomed parliamentarians from Canada, Australia, China, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

«We in the Senate and the House of