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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Papal Nuncio appeals for restraint to avoid ‘catastrophe’

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Reverend Charles Brown, the papal nuncio to the Philippines, emphasized the importance of “patient, serious dialogue” and respect for international law to avoid a “catastrophe of escalation” during the traditional Independence Day reception inside Malacañang.

Brown, also the dean of the diplomatic corps, made his remarks before an audience of government officials and diplomats, including Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian.

“In this situation, if we want to make a world of safety and prosperity for our children, the way forward for all of us is the same path that has brought the hope of peace to the people of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and that is the path of dialogue. Patient, serious, dialogue,” he stated.

“Together with a respect for international law and a respect for genuine diversity, engaging with others, in particular with those with whom we profoundly disagree, is the surest way of avoiding the catastrophe of escalation,” Brown added.

Brown likened the ongoing geopolitical tensions between states in the Indo-Pacific region to the Cold War in the 1960s.

“When President (Diosdado) Macapagal gave his speech in June of 1962 proposing the change of the date of the Independence Day of the Philippines, the world was experiencing dangerous polarization, which indeed came to a crisis point only a few months later in October of that year,” said Brown.

“Regrettably, our geopolitical situation in 2024 is not so different. The end of history did not arrive in the 1990s. History has continued,” he stated

While he did not mention any countries, his comments come amid rising tensions between the Philippines and China over the West Philippine Sea.

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