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Philippines to Host Asean Maritime Forum

PHILIPPINES - The Philippines will host the third Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Maritime Forum (AMF) and the first Expanded Asean Maritime Forum (EAMF) at the Manila Hotel on October 3 to 5.

Vice President Jejomar C. Binay will address the third AMF, which will be attended by representatives from all ten member countries of the Asean, a statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

The AMF is envisioned to promote maritime cooperation under the Asean Political Security Community framework by serving as the primary venue within Asean to discuss cross-cutting maritime issues.

Sessions at the third AMF will be chaired by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Erlinda F. Basilio and will focus on maritime security and cooperation in Asean, ensuring freedom of navigation and combating sea piracy, and protecting the marine environment and promoting eco-tourism and fishery regimes in East Asia.

Experts from international organizations, including the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (Recaap), will serve as resource speakers during the third AMF.

On October 5, the inaugural meeting of the Expanded Asean Maritime Forum 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) to discuss maritime security and cooperation issues.

The EAS includes the ten Asean member-countries, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States.

Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Koji Tsuruoka of Japan will deliver the keynote speech at the first EAMF.

Discussions during the first EAMF, which will also be chaired by Undersecretary Basilio, will center on the relevance of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in todays 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.

Lucy Towers

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