Importance of rule of law in diplomacy tackled in forum
THE Philippines underscored the importance of the rule of law in the conduct of diplomacy and international relations, particularly in the field of disarmament and collective security, during a recent panel discussion with the theme “Disarmament and Collective Security.”
As an example on the importance of the rule of law in disarmament and collective security, Ambassador Cecilia B. Rebong of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations and other organizations in Geneva, Switzerland, focused on the Philippines’s arbitration case before the United Nations tribunal on the Convention of the Law of the Sea.
“Sustainable peace and security are made possible by a rules-based regime, generally accepted by countries, that equalizes powerful actors and their less influential ones. Sustainable peace and security are direct products of the reason and ascendancy of the rule of law,” Rebong said, adding, “disregard the rule of law and you fail in conflict prevention.”
These sentiments were echoed by Michael Moller, director general of the United Nations Office at Geneva, who said in his opening remarks: “Disarmament is not only a security issue, it is interlinked with rule of law, human rights, trust among others. A wholistic approach which prioritizes prevention rather than focusing on the cure.”
The panel discussion focused on the practical and achievable steps, which disarmament mechanisms could provide to build confidence, political trust, defuse tensions and bolster cooperation in an increasingly charged international environment.
Other panelists included: Ute Finch-Kramer, member of parliament and vice chairman of the subcommittee for disarmament affairs of the German Bundestag; retired Ambassador Sergey Batsanov, director of the Pugwash Office; and Dan Plesch, director of the Center for International Studies and Diplomacy of the School of Oriental and Africal Studies (Soas) of the University of London.
Organized by the Permanent Mission of Canada and Soas, the event was attended by Soas graduate students, representatives of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies of Geneva, the diplomatic corps and civil society representatives.