The Philippines, represented by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Erlinda F. Basilio, led the discussions on Maritime Cooperation and Conservation during the 10th Southwest Pacific Dialogue (SWPD) Meeting held at the sidelines of the 45th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and Related Meetings held at Phnom Penh, Cambodia on July 11.
The Southwest Pacific Dialogue is a forum for dialogue of the Foreign Ministers of the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Timor Leste to exchange views and information on various issues within the region.
The recently held Dialogue discussed various areas of cooperation, particularly on connectivity, maritime conservation and democracy issues.
The Ministers expressed their strong support for the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security, which contributes to the improvement of conservation and sustainable management of marine resources resulting in food security and sustainable livelihoods. The Coral Triangle, which includes the Philippines, is the global center of marine biodiversity and one of the world’s top priorities for marine conservation.
The Philippines said that “effectively addressing challenges such as border security, piracy and freedom of navigation and ensuring the conservation and management of marine resources are shared responsibilities of all countries, especially in Asia and the Pacific”.
The Philippines accepted the offer to chair the next meeting of the SWPD at the next ASEAN meeting in Brunei Darussalam in 2013.