Resolve South China Sea dispute through peaceful dialogue: UN chief

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Ban Ki-moon after the G7 summit in Tokyo, Japan, with Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. UN Photo

Asian countries disputing territory in the South China Sea are being urged by the UN Secretary-General to resolve their differences through dialogue.

Ban Ki-moon's comments came in a speech delivered at a G7 summit which concluded on Friday in Japan.

Dianne Penn reports.

The UN Secretary-General described what is happening in the South China Sea as an "urgent challenge," with several nations arguing over islands and maritime areas.

They include Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Viet Nam.

"I have called on all concerned to resolve disputes through dialogue in a peaceful and amicable manner, in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law – such as the UN Charter and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea."

Mr Ban also expressed hope that the regional bloc, ASEAN, and China quickly reach agreement on a Code of Conduct related to the South China Sea.

This refers to a 2002 declaration which states that parties would resolve their disputes through peaceful means and not seek to escalate tensions.

Mr Ban also expressed appreciation for the G7's recent declaration on the situation in the Korean peninsula.

It demands that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) comply with all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and not conduct any further nuclear tests or other "destabilizing or provocative actions."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'14"


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