Courtesy of PIA

Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Maria Angela Ponce launched the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) microsite platform Tuesday, which will serve as the main source of information regarding the arbitration award on the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

“We understand that the issue is complex and may be confusing, so this is an attempt to clear some of the fog. It is a work-in-progress site, but I feel it is an important start in gaining a better understanding of the complex issues faced by the Philippines in the South China Sea and the West Philippine Sea,” Ponce said during the launching on July 11.

Ponce mentioned that the arbitral award on the WPS has been in effect for seven years now.

Ponce further stated that the launch of the microsite on the award would provide a central resource for official information and positions on the award and its contributions to the rule of law and peaceful settlement of disputes through UNCLOS and international law.

On July 12, 2016, the South China Sea Arbitration received the award, which was considered a significant contribution to international law and the interpretation and application of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

In preparation for the website, Ponce mentioned that the DFA received support from various government agencies in preparing and securing the material presented.

The specific national agencies involved were the Office of the Press Secretary, NAMRIA-DENR, the Philippine Coast Guard, and AFP-WESCOM.

The website is part of the DFA’s commitment to promoting a better understanding of the 2016 Arbitral Award as a Philippine contribution to the peaceful settlement of disputes through international law. -30-

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