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23 MAY 2012
MEDIATION LEVELS THE PLAYING FIELD AMONG PARTIES IN A DISPUTE - SECRETARY DEL ROSARIO
23 May 2023 May 2012, New York – Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario today underscored the importance of mediation as a tool in the peaceful settlement of disputes as it levels the playing field among parties.
“Mediation has an important role in breathing life into the letter and spirit of our Charter’s aspiration that all sovereign states are equal,” Secretary Del Rosario said in a statement delivered before the General Assembly’s High Level Meeting on “The Role of Member States in Mediation”.
The High Level Meeting was convened and chaired by the President of the General Assembly to provide a platform for an in-depth and comprehensive discussion on the role of Member States in the peaceful settlement of disputes and conflicts.
Secretary Del Rosario is among five Foreign Ministers invited to speak in the meeting because of the Philippines’ active involvement in mediation initiatives in the United Nations.
“When parties are in a dispute, differences in political and economic power can often weigh against a fair, just, peaceful and lasting resolution. Mediation and other third party mechanisms can level the playing field. These help ensure that although one party may lack in power, it can make up for through reliance on the rule of law,” he added.
Chapter VI of the UN Charter which deals with peaceful settlement of disputes requires States with disputes to seek solutions through peaceful methods such as negotiation , enquiry, mediation , conciliation, arbitration , judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.
Secretary Del Rosario stressed that the role of individual nations in mediation starts with their openness to this peaceful option. He also underscored that an effective mediation process must be mutually voluntary and consensual for both or all parties involved.
“Mediation forms an important part of a rules-based approach to the peaceful settlement of disputes. It is for this reason that we are pursuing this course in hoping to resolve the conflicting claims in the West Philippine Sea as well as in addressing the internal conflicts in my country,” Secretary Del Rosario added.
The Philippines is a member of the Group of Friends of Mediation and co-sponsored the landmark consensus resolution on “Strengthening the Role of Mediation in Peaceful Settlement of Disputes and Conflict Prevention and Resolution” in June 2011.
The Philippines has always been active in promoting the peaceful settlement of international disputes.
This year, it leads efforts in the United Nations to mark the 30 th anniversary of the adoption of the 1982 Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes through a General Assembly resolution that calls on States to “promote and observe in good faith” the historic declaration. END
Robert E.A. Borje
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