The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday said that the West Philippine Sea dispute would be discussed in the 45th Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) Foreign ministers’ Meeting (AMM) to be held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from July 8 to July 12.
“There are a range of topics that would be discussed during the Asean Foreign ministers meeting and one of those would be maritime security including regional issues that concern Asean and the region,” Raul Hernandez, DFA spokesperson, said in a press briefing.
In a statement, DFA said Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario would attend both the Plenary and Retreat Sessions of the meeting.
The statement also said that aside from regional and maritime issues, human rights, protection of migrant workers, trafficking in persons, climate change, disaster management, biodiversity, Asean community and connectivity, trade and investments, micro small-medium enterprises (MSMEs), and renewable energy, would also be discussed.
When asked about the prospects of a Code of Conduct being reached during the meeting, Hernandez said that the process was “still being discussed in the works.”
“Well I think that is still being discussed in the works and we will find out from this meetings what will happen to the draft that has been presented to the zone leaders,” Hernandez said.
But Hernandez said that there would be no bilateral meetings between the Philippines and China during the Asean meet.
“There will be an Asean-China dialogue meeting but as far as I’m concerned there is no scheduled bilateral meeting between the Philippines and China during this trip,” Hernandez said.
Del Rosario would also attend the 13th Asean Plus Three (APT) Foreign ministers’ Meeting with China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.
He would also attend ministerial meetings with dialogue partners India, China, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, European Union, Russia, Republic of Korea, Australia, and the United States.
He would also attend the 10th Southwest Pacific Dialogue (SwPD), a forum for dialogue to exchange views and information on various important issues in the region for the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Timor-Leste.
The statement also noted that Del Rosario may also hold bilateral meetings with Brunei, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, India, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Australia, depending on the availability of the parties involved.