On Wednesday, Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. addressed the United Nations, General Assembly. It was the first time he spoke in front of an international audience. In his speech, he asked the delegates to the assembly to follow international law.
At a meeting of world leaders in New York City, he said that an international order that is open to everyone, based on rules, and “guided by the ideals of equality and justice” is still an important way to keep things stable, no matter how the world is right now. We showed how states should settle their differences by making international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), more predictable and stable. We did this by giving an example.
In addition to that, he referred to the Manila Declaration from 1982, which is a seminal document in the field of the amicable resolution of international conflicts. In his words, “we offered an example of how states should resolve their differences: through reason and through right.” This was accomplished through bolstering the predictability and stability of international law, with particular emphasis on the UNCLOS of 1982. According to Marcos, these two historic declarations offer helpful direction for all nations and serve as an “essential ballast” that makes the situation more stable.
Mr. Marcos stated that our very Charter is being violated all around the world right now. The peace and stability that we have worked so hard to achieve in Asia, are in danger due to rising ideological and geopolitical tensions. And he brought up the 1982 Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes in the middle of the conflict in Ukraine and the growing tensions between the U.S. and China over Taiwan.
Mr. Marcos has made it clear that he intends to pursue an independent foreign policy, even though he acknowledges the Philippines’ long-standing partnership with the United States. Rodrigo R. Duterte, who came before him, aggressively changed the country’s foreign policy toward China and away from the West. He said that the Philippines would keep its “friendly foreign policy and that the country would “continue to be a friend to all and an enemy to none.”
The President stated on Tuesday during an economic discussion held at the New York Stock Exchange that there is no possibility of a future with the United States as an ally. “The United States has not let us down. President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. made his statement in front of the United Nations amid tensions between the United States and China regarding Taiwan. China has asked the Philippines to help Taiwan join the United Nations.
According to Reuters, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. of the United States stated to CBS News that American soldiers would defend Taiwan in the event of an invasion by China. The Chinese government was furious about this and said it sent the wrong message to people in Taiwan who want the island to be independent. At the same time, the promise has been made to the Philippines by U.S. officials, including Mr. Blinken. However, analysts in the Philippines are not sure that the U.S. will keep its promise.
Our international order; it is open, inclusive, and founded on rules; it is governed by international law, and it is influenced by the concepts of equity and justice. The President has said that the Philippines will keep being friends with all countries and enemies with none. He also asked countries to respect the goals of the United Nations, especially since Asia’s “hard-won peace and stability” are in danger because strategic and ideological tensions are getting worse.
Marcos says that inequality and injustice still happen both inside and between countries and that “urgent action” is still needed.
During the course of the general discussion, Marcos was the first leader from Southeast Asia to approach the stage. He was the second person to speak during the afternoon session of the general assembly, and he took his place at the podium. In addition to attending the General Assembly of the United Nations, the President is in New York to meet with other leaders and find investors to help him reach his goal of economic reform.
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