News Release

Let us work together to uphold the equality of nations, PBBM urges global community


President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday urged countries in the Indo-Pacific Region to unite to uphold the equality of nations and reject any narrative that imposes hierarchy among states.

“We must reject unjust narratives that seek to subsume distinct national interests [into] so-called “major country” dynamics, which seek to impose hierarchy amongst nations,” said President Marcos in his speech during the 21st International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.

Singapore officials were in attendance including President Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, Senior Minister Lee Hsien Loong, IISS Executive Chairman British official Sir John Chipman, as well as Philippine government officials.

“Those who came before us worked painstakingly throughout the last century to bury the era of spheres of influence and of buffer states. We should not allow its ghost to haunt our region once again,” President Marcos said.

President Marcos also urged countries to support ASEAN’s efforts to build a rules-based, people-oriented, and people-centered regional community.

“Any state that professes a stake in the continued peace and stability of this region must respect ASEAN Centrality not only with words, but with action,” President Marcos said.

President Marcos said all partnerships and arrangements must never displace or dilute, but rather uphold and complement ASEAN’s central role.

“So, let us return as well to Manila and reaffirm our common understanding of how international law governs the peaceful settlement of disputes,” he said.

“Let us return to San Francisco and reaffirm the sovereign equality of all states. We must reject unjust narratives that seek to subsume distinct national interests [into] so-called “major country” dynamics, which seek to impose hierarchy amongst nations,” he added.

Amidst misleading narratives that seek to discredit international legal procedures, there is a need to reaffirm that these modalities are an expression of good faith, the President said.

They are a service to the progressive development and codification of international law, he said.

“They are never an unfriendly act,” President Marcos remarked. |PND