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Secretary Lorenzana Addresses Moscow Conference on International Security

Countries should not cherry pick what rules to follow and what not to follow, Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana told the participants of the Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS). Speaking in the plenary session on achieving balance of interest among states last April 27, Secretary Lorenzana shared to the audience that to achieve balance of interest, parties must follow a rules-based regime in settling disputes, respect the rights of neighbors, sustain diplomatic engagements and turn areas of contention into venues for cooperation. Secretary Lorenzana likewise reminded the participants to learn from history and that the world wars were fought in the last century because leaders sleepwalked into conflict. Today, leaders should stop playing a zero-sum game as this would only lead to an arms race and eventually a military standoff instead of a balance of interest.

Among the other issues discussed in the MCIS are the various challenges to global security in the 21st century, European security specifically how Euro-Atlantic security institutions have evolved to include the Organization of Security Conference in Europe (OSCE) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), countering terrorism and radicalism specifically in the Middle East, security of information, space and freedom of access, implications of ballistic missile development, Afghanistan as a key factor in the security of Central, and regional aspects of military-to-military engagements.

At the sidelines of the conference, Secretary Lorenzana had bilateral discussions with Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu where the two defense ministers discussed the way forward of PH-Russia defense relations. A defense cooperation agreement is expected to be signed between the two ministers when Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte visits Russia in May 2017.