Legal experts of ASEAN countries discussed the Initiative for a Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship and Cooperation in the East Sea at a meeting in the Filipino capital city of Manila from September 22-24.

Addressing the event, Filipino Vice President Jejomar Binay highlighted the importance of peace and stability in the East Sea to the Southeast Asian region in particular and the Asia-Pacific in general.

Binay affirmed the need to promote cooperation among regional countries to ensure peace, security and stability in the East Sea. He stressed that cooperation activities should be implemented on the basis of respecting principles of international laws, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982).

At the event, the delegates reaffirmed the principle of settling disputes in the East Sea through peaceful measures in line with international laws as well as respecting sovereignty and jurisdiction of countries.

They also spoke highly of existing tools in the region, especially the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and clarified the connection between the initiative and existing cooperation mechanisms for the East Sea, particularly the implementation of DOC./.