Save 20% off! Join our newsletter and get 20% off right away!
SSEAC Launch; - Senator Carr with students of Sydney University in their respective national cultural attires.

Positive Narrative Needed

Dispute on West Philippine Sea

Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr being interviewed by SBS Radioman Ronald Manila

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr said there is a need for what he calls as positive narrative in treating the ongoing maritime dispute over West Philippine Seas between China and a number of ASEAN countries.

Senator Carr said it is in the interest of the countries of the region and of China that there be a code of conduct that would minimise any exchange of animosity.

Senator Carr issued the statement in answer to reporters during an ambush interview shortly after Senator Carr launched the interdisciplinary research body Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney.

Senator Carr said Australia takes no sides and urges all parties to settle their conflict according to international law but not exclusively limited to Unite Nations convention of the laws of the seas.

Senator Carr said East Asia and South Asia have generated headlines about exemplary economic development and that is “the overriding narrative” of the region.

Senator Carr said it would be tragic if these headlines were to be overtaken by stories of conflict, disputes over sovereignty and insecurity.

Senator Carr said we will have to work hard that the positive narrative all roll into it and not derailed by stories on conflict and territorial disputes.

Senator Carr said one measure is to manage the dispute while it remains unsettled.

Another measure is to work quietly towards a solution including an approach to resolution by an agreement on resource sharing without seeking final solution to the problem. He said there are already precedents on this approach such as the tourism industry.

SSEAC Launch; - Senator Carr with students of Sydney University in their respective national cultural attires.

In launching the SSEAC, Senator Carr said Australia can make its own experts on Southeast Asia and believes Americans, Europeans, South Americans seeking advice on Southeast Asia can come to Australia and get it. “We will make that our goal and we will work on it that Australia has stacks of experts on Southeast Asia because it one of the competitive advantage Australia has got,” said Senator Carr.

“We know the countries intimately, the economic prospect, political system and culture,” said Senator Carr.