Cooperation among Association of Southeast Asian Nations members in tackling maritime issues will be the focus of the third ASEAN Maritime Forum and first Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum in Manila from Wednesday, Oct. 3, to Oct. 5.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday the two forums will be held at the Manila Hotel from October 3 to 5.
Vice President Jejomar Binay will address the AMF, which will be attended by representatives from all 10 member countries of the ASEAN, the DFA said.
The AMF seeks to promote maritime cooperation under the ASEAN Political Security Community framework by serving as a primary venue to discuss cross-cutting maritime issues.
DFA Undersecretary for Policy Erlinda Basilio will chair the sessions at the 3rd AMF, which will focus on maritime security and cooperation in ASEAN.
The sessions will also focus on ensuring freedom of navigation and combating sea piracy, and protecting the marine environment and promoting eco-tourism and fishery regimes in East Asia.
Expected to serve as resource speakers are experts from international organizations, including the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP).
Expanded forum
Meanwhile, the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum will be held on Friday, and will bring together government officials and representatives of international organizations, think tanks and the academe from the 18 members of the East Asia Summit (EAS).
It will discuss maritime security and cooperation issues.
The EAS includes the 10 ASEAN member countries, plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the United States.
Basilio will also chair the discussions during the EAMF.
Japanese Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Koji Tsuruoka will deliver the keynote speech at the 1st EAMF.
Discussions will focus on the relevance of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in today’s context, opportunities to enhance maritime connectivity in the region, capacity building, infrastructure and equipment upgrading, seafarers’ training, and best practices in marine environment protection and eco-tourism in East Asia. — BM, GMA News

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