G7 Ministers say Arbitral award on South China Sea useful basis to resolve disputes

“We consider the July 12, 2016 award rendered by the Arbitral Tribunal under the UNCLOS as a useful basis for further efforts to peacefully resolve disputes in the South China Sea,” Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union said in a Joint Communiqué after G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Lucca, Italy April 10, 11.

They said that they remain concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas.

The G7 ministers encourage dialogues based on international law towards early finalization of an effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) and we welcome efforts to advance in this direction.

“We call for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety,” they added.

They also reiterated their country’s commitment to the freedoms of navigation and over-flight and other rights, freedoms, and internationally lawful uses of the seas.

“We reiterate our strong opposition to any unilateral actions which increase tensions, such as the threat or use of force, large scale land reclamation, building of outposts, as well as their use for military purposes and urge all parties to pursue demilitarization of disputed features and to comply with their obligations under international law,” the ministers said.