The government of Singapore has become a venue in Asia to settle maritime disputes for proceedings before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
A joint declaration was signed between ITLOS president Vladimir Golitsyn and permanent secretary to the ministry of law Ng How Yue to allow the Republic to become a venue to settle disputes relating to the law of the sea.
Under the commitments of the joint declaration, Singapore will provide appropriate facilities to the tribunal for a special chamber of the tribunal or the tribunal to sit or exercise its functions in the city-state.
In a statement, Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said, "The Joint Declaration is a clear endorsement of Singapore as a neutral venue for the effective settlement of international disputes."
"It also demonstrates Singapore's commitment to the international rule of law by facilitating access to Itlos in order to serve the needs of the states of this region, with a view to promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes relating to the law of the sea," he added.
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is an independent judicial body established by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to hear any dispute concerning the interpretation or application of the UNCLOS.
Singapore became a party to the Convention on 17 November 1994. Currently, there are 167 parties to the Convention, which comprises 166 States and the European Union