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Philippines highlights role of arbitral court in dispute settlement

MANILA, Philippines — On its 125th year, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) has proven its mettle in settling disputes and upholding the rule of law, according to Philippine Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Antonio Lagdameo.

“Together, we reaffirmed the shared mission of the United Nations and the PCA in the maintenance of international peace and security, the peaceful settlement of disputes and the progressive development of international law,” Lagdameo said in a speech at the opening of an event featuring the PCA on the sidelines of the UN International Law Week on Thursday.

“Together, we invite states and organizations of the United Nations to commemorate the PCA’s 125th anniversary, recognizing its contribution to the rule of law,” he said.

The side event featured a panel comprising Dionisio Babo Soares, former foreign minister of Timor-Leste; Adam McCarthy, chief counsel of the foreign affairs and trade department of Australia; Daphne Hong, solicitor general and director-general of the international affairs division of the attorney general’s chambers of Singapore.

Addressing diplomats and international law experts, Lagdameo thanked the core group of states that supported the General Assembly resolution for the 125th anniversary of the PCA – Australia, Egypt, Guatemala, Hungary, Thailand and other co-sponsors Singapore, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

“Just a little over two months ago, through our collective efforts, the General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution – co-sponsored by 121 states – to commemorate the 125th year of this institution – our institution,” Lagdameo said.

In a landmark ruling on July 12, 2016, the PCA based in The Hague invalidated China’s claims over almost the entire South China Sea and reaffirmed the Philippines’ maritime entitlements.

The International Law Week is the highlight of the annual session of the Sixth Committee, the primary forum for pleas for consideration of legal questions in the General Assembly.

All UN member-states are entitled to representations in the Sixth Committee.

“Today, we are heeding that call and moving forward – with this exchange of views on the practical work of the