MANILA – The commitment to a rules-based order and partnerships between countries are among the key points discused in the recently-concluded 17th Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) which was virtually hosted by the Philippine Navy (PN) for the first time from October 26 to 27.
In a statement Thursday, PN chief, Vice Adm. Adeluis Bordado, who chaired the entire proceedings, said other key issues discussed include convergence of interests and steadfastness in approaches and strategies.
“(With) these, I can say that the agenda and objectives set for this year’s symposium have been substantively discussed and fulfilled. I hope that the commitments during the past two days will be converted into concrete and visible initiatives so that we can better foster effective ocean governance for regional partnership and stability in the Western Pacific region,” he added.
The WPNS is a series of biennial meetings of the Pacific nations held on even-numbered years.
“The symposium’s 17th iteration, which was held virtually for the first time due to the ongoing (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic, brought together 20 Chiefs of Navy or their designated representatives from countries bordering the Pacific Region,” Navy spokesperson Commander Benjo Negranza said.
With this year’s theme “Effective Ocean Governance for Regional Peace and Stability”, the WPNS served as a venue for discussing and addressing naval issues of mutual concern.
The Philippines was supposed to host the event in May last year but it was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bordado also thanked all chiefs of navies and their staff for their valuable contribution to the 17th WPNS.
“On behalf of the PN, it has been a great honor to host the 17th WPNS. The insights and meaningful discussions during the past two days reinforced the existence and the significance of this platform for multilateral naval cooperation in the western pacific region,” he added.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, in a pre-recorded message, said the WPNS is an important platform to promote naval cooperation in our maritime environment.
“It makes me proud that our PN is hosting this event,” he added,
“Your theme ‘Effective Ocean Governance for Regional Peace and Stability’ clearly highlights the importance of multilateral cooperation. Through dialogues and partnerships, we can jointly and effectively address security challenges,” the defense chief said.
The PN’s historic maiden hosting of the WPNS demonstrates the organization’s commitment to peaceful and diplomatic measures to respond to the country’s maritime defense and development needs. International engagements such as the WPNS also strengthen the organization’s relationships with neighboring navies. (PNA)