The Australian government is investing 3.5 billion pesos ($61 million) in various maritime programs across the Indo-Pacific, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Richard Sisson announced.
Sisson said the funding would benefit Australia’s Southeast Asian ally, providing support “through training, capacity building, vessel sustainment, and marine environment projects.”
Sisson made the announcement during the 7th Pilipinas Conference of the Stratbase Albert Del Rosario (ADR) Institute.
Topics such as governance, territorial security, sustainable growth, and other pressing challenges in the Indo-Pacific region were discussed at the conference.
Sisson expressed Australia’s continued commitment to working with the Philippines in safeguarding the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by further bolstering maritime security along the countries’ territorial waters.
“Like the Philippines, Australia, as a maritime nation, is committed to adherence to the law of the sea principle that is set out in UNCLOS,” Sisson said.
“UNCLOS is particularly important because it provides the legal framework for all activities in the ocean and the sea. It provides the foundation for peace, security, and stability, and for the use of maritime resources.”
The Embassy was delighted to speak at yesterday’s @StratbaseADRi Pilipinas Conference. Australia is committed to working with the Philippines to promote adherence to UNCLOS and enhance maritime security in the Indo-Pacific. https://t.co/m7EVkZskNN
— HK Yu PSM (@AusAmbPH) November 22, 2022
The Stratbase ADR Institute is an independent international and strategic research organization committed to addressing issues affecting the Philippines and the larger Indo-Pacific region.
The organization has four programs: Trade, Investment and the Global Economy; Energy and the Environment; Right Governance and Open Governments; and Security and East Asian Regional Affairs.
The recent Pilipinas Conference featured four panels, including multilateral cooperation, on which the Australian diplomat served as a speaker.
“We have committed to upholding international law, and in particular, the law at sea, and this is why we invest in maritime partnerships in the region, to build maritime domain awareness, and to combat challenges like illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing,” Sisson said.
“And that’s why we continue to exercise freedom of navigation and overflight, and to support the rights of others to do the same, and strengthen relationships with regional partners.”