AIPA-41: AIPA exerting efforts to contribute to regional connectivity hinh anh 1

Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan will deliver an opening speech at the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41). (Photo: VNA)

Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan will deliver an opening speech.

A wide range of activities are scheduled on the day, comprising the first plenary session, a meeting of Women Parliamentarians of AIPA (WAIPA), and an unofficial meeting of young AIPA parliamentarians.

Together with ASEAN, AIPA has made significant contributions to regional connectivity and cooperation for mutual development of the ASEAN member states. In a bid to consolidate solidarity within the ASEAN bloc, AIPA and parliaments of member countries will work closely with governments of the ASEAN nations to seek measures to build the ASEAN Community, as well as promote the central role of ASEAN in maintaining regional peace and stability.

This will be the first time in history the AIPA General Assembly is held online amid the complicated developments of COVID-19, showing the Vietnamese NA's activeness and flexibility as well as its contributions to reforming the operational mode of AIPA.

The hosting of AIPA-41 and activities during the AIPA Chairmanship Year 2020 reflect the Vietnamese legislature's active, responsible and practical contributions to the AIPA as well as make important contributions to strengthening solidarity and guiding the organisation's common efforts to assist ASEAN in building its Community, including performing key tasks of overcoming adverse impacts of the pandemic, maintaining economic development, and ensuring social welfare for all citizens.

According to the organising committee, over 380 delegates will attend the AIPA-41 online via 43 locations.

NA Chairwoman attends rehearsal for AIPA-41

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Standing Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong on September 7 attended a rehearsal for activities of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41), which will be held online a day later.

Speaking at the event, Phong, who is also deputy head of the National Steering Committee on AIPA-41 and head of the AIPA-41 organising committee, said preparations have been basically completed with all contents and agenda meeting requirements.

The Vietnamese legislature is assuming the role of AIPA Chair for the third time and will host the AIPA-41 themed “Parliamentary Diplomacy for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community” from September 8-10.

It will be the first time in history the AIPA General Assembly is held online amid the complicated developments of COVID-19, showing the Vietnamese NA's activeness and flexibility as well as its contributions to reforming the operational mode of AIPA. 

The hosting of AIPA-41 and activities during the AIPA Chairmanship Year 2020 reflect the Vietnamese legislature's active, responsible and practical contributions to the AIPA as well as make important contributions to strengthening solidarity and guiding the organisation's common efforts to assist ASEAN in building its Community, including performing key tasks of overcoming adverse impacts of the pandemic, maintaining economic development, and ensuring social welfare for all citizens.

According to the organising committee, over 380 delegates will attend the AIPA-41 online via 43 locations.

AIPA 41: Parliamentary diplomacy for cohesive, responsive ASEAN Community

With the support of other members of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), Vietnam, as the AIPA Chair, will make every effort to successfully organise activities within AIPA Year 2020 as well as the upcoming 41st General Assembly of AIPA (AIPA 41), the top Vietnamese legislator has said.

According to Chairwoman of the National Assembly (NA) Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, the success of AIPA Year and AIPA 41 will contribute pragmatically to advancing the AIPA-ASEAN partnership and enhancing coordination in action between the legislative and executive channels, thus pushing ahead with the building of an ASEAN Community of peace, stability, safety, prosperity, and happiness.

In an article published prior to AIPA 41, slated for September 8-9, Ngan highlighted the significance of the year 2020, with Vietnam simultaneously serving as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), the ASEAN Chair, and the AIPA Chair.

“This allows Vietnam to continue affirming its role, position, and prestige in the international arena,” she said. It also requires the country to make more contributions to maintaining peace, stability, and sustainable development in the region and the world at large.

Themed “Parliamentary Diplomacy for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community”, AIPA 41 will be held as a teleconference for the first time.

AIPA 41 and activities in the AIPA Year have demonstrated the Vietnamese legislature’s responsibility and practical contributions to AIPA, while helping to strengthen solidarity and lead joint efforts so that AIPA can assist ASEAN in building the ASEAN Community, Ngan emphasised.

Central tasks now lie in overcoming the adverse impact of COVID-19, maintaining economic development, and ensuring social welfare for all, she said.

Recalling the 43-year history of AIPA, Ngan said it has become an open and useful forum where regional parliaments and parliamentarians can exchange views and candidly discuss issues of shared concern.

The enhanced mutual understanding, respect, and trust have helped build a firm foundation for regional cooperation, she continued.

AIPA attaches great importance to intensifying its collaboration with partners outside the ASEAN, she went on, saying that since 1979, the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organisation (AIPO - the predecessor of AIPA) has established dialogue mechanisms with the parliaments of Australia, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (RoK).

AIPA has now set up annual dialogue mechanisms with 12 observer member parliaments from Australia, Belarus, Canada, China, the EU, India, Japan, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, the RoK, Russia, and Timor-Leste.

Regarding Vietnam’s AIPA membership over the last 25 years, Ngan said the country has proven itself to be an active, proactive, and responsible member, adding that it has fully participated in activities within AIPA while contributing many result-oriented ideas and initiatives in order to revamp the organisation and the operations and agenda of AIPO/AIPA, and promoting the role of AIPO/AIPA as well as its connectivity with ASEAN in addressing regional issues.

In security and politics, the Vietnamese legislature has upheld the significance of solidarity among regional countries and affirmed the key principles in building the ASEAN Community for peace, stability, and prosperity on the basis of solidarity, unity, observance of international law, and respect for the legitimate interests of each other, in harmony with the grouping’s interests.

In the economic arena, Vietnam has called on AIPA member parliaments to increase domestic legal reviews in an effort to remove trade and investment barriers and ensure transparent and effective mechanisms, for a dynamic and integrated ASEAN.

As for social affairs, Ngan said, Vietnam has contributed to and co-sponsored resolutions on gender equality, women’s empowerment, and support for people with disabilities, for sustainable environment in AIPA.

The country has also proposed many initiatives to promote the role of women in general and female parliamentarians in particular.

 

Notably, the NA has been one of the most active members in boosting the AIPA-ASEAN relationship, with marked initiatives.

Ngan said AIPA 41 takes place in the context of ASEAN working hard towards the goal of cohesion and to affirm its centrality in maintaining peace, stability, and development in Southeast Asia.

ASEAN countries are also making efforts to contain the pandemic and materialise policy packages in order to enhance post-pandemic economic recovery, maintain commitments to opening trade and investment, connect supply chains, ensure food security, prevent economic downturn, and ensure social welfare.

At the same time, countries are grappling with a host of difficulties and challenges, including the adverse impact of COVID-19, Ngan said, pointing to the rapid and unexpected changes in the global situation, and policy adjustments and relations among powers tending to influence peace, security, cooperation, and development in the region.

Hot spots such as the East Sea and new political developments in certain countries will also impact ASEAN’s centrality in maintaining peace and stability in the region, she added.

Given this, Vietnam, in its capacity as the AIPA Chair, will do its best to ensure the success of the activities in AIPA Year and AIPA 41, Ngan pledged.

Lao official praises Vietnam’s initiative in organising online AIPA 41

As President of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) in 2020, Vietnam has demonstrated its determination and taken many initiatives in organising the 41st AIPA General Assembly (AIPA 41) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Head of the Lao National Assembly’s external relations committee Eksavang Vongvichit has said.

In an interview given to the Vietnam News Agency, Eksavang said although the pandemic had affected the organisation of the AIPA 41, the holding of the event in the form of video conferencing is a timely and sound initiative of the Chairwoman and the leadership of Vietnam’s National Assembly (NA).

He also highlighted the importance of AIPA 41’s theme of “Parliamentary diplomacy for a cohesive and proactive ASEAN Community”, saying that countries need coordination and cooperation between legislatures and governments to realise their objectives.

Parliamentary diplomacy plays a crucial role in foreign affairs in general and in people diplomacy in particular, he stressed, adding that this has contributed a voice to maintaining political stability as well as to other important matters such as the economy, culture, society, and gender equality.

This shows that parliamentary diplomacy plays an important role in assisting governments to promote and realise the goals and strategic visions agreed by ASEAN countries’ leaders at the 36th ASEAN Summit, which was held online by Vietnam recently, he noted.

Vietnam’s NA will host AIPA 41 in the form of a teleconference at Hanoi’s International Convention Centre on September 8-10.

It will consist of an opening ceremony, a closing ceremony, and two plenary sessions, meetings of political, economic and social committees, an AIPA women parliamentarians meeting, and an unofficial meeting of young AIPA parliamentarians.

AIPA 41 in strategic position to coordinate efforts against COVID-19: Philippine official

In the midst of uncertainty and seemingly unending health and economic shocks brought about by the COVID-19 global crisis, the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA 41) is in a strategic position to serve as a platform to coordinate and integrate efforts of AIPA member parliaments to help stem the tide of the contagion, according to a Philippine official.

In an interview with Vietnam News Agency ahead of the teleconferenced AIPA 41 from September 8 to 10, Deputy Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives Raneo E. Abu also noted that with AIPA spearheading the regional drive towards the formulation of common legislation, and the institution of frameworks to build a sustainable programme of action, to combat and contain the pandemic, it is imperative that AIPA member parliaments cooperate and combine resources in putting up a united stand to fight this viral menace.

COVID-19 is a continually evolving and perilous health issue, which so far has eluded quick and enduring solutions by medical experts and virologists alike, thus, it must be confronted with utmost vigilance, focus and resiliency.

Through AIPA, member parliaments can establish cooperation mechanisms to enable sharing of best practices in fighting COVID-19 with fellow AIPA member states. This will greatly enhance the crafting of common legislation which will strengthen the overall capacity of ASEAN region nations to combat the COVID-19 contagion.

Medical data sharing among regional neighbor countries, on the viral transmission behaviour patterns and effective counter-measures, also helps in the formulation and refinement of anti COVID-19 programmes and policies being implemented.

Through these, AIPA provides a ray of hope, survival and recovery by leading the way towards a cohesive and responsive ASEAN region, in this very trying time of near apocalyptic health threats to the existence in this world, according to the official.

He went on to say that during this extremely difficult time of COVID-19 and concomitant severe economic slowdown, the Philippine House of Representatives fully realises the expediency to adapt a new normal way of life. This entails a massive recalibration of long established norms and conduct in doing things in almost all aspects of the daily lives, in both individual and collective capacities.

Countries now have to integrate this new normal mindset in crafting legislation, programmes and policies in the continued march towards the full implementation of the ASEAN political, economic and socio-cultural blueprints, in order to achieve the end goal of community building and regional integration, the official noted.

The Philippines strongly supports AIPA member parliaments’ initiatives to craft a fast, resilient, and sustainable recovery plan to help bring the ASEAN region back on its feet as well as institutionalising an effective national preparedness and response mechanisms that would deal with the present and future pandemics, he said, adding that the building up of a truly impregnable health care system and strengthening of a social security system that would provide the widest scope and coverage of the population, most specially the marginalised sector, are also urgent measures during this critical time.

He said during these new normal times, digital technology plays a very crucial role in facilitating the movement of people, goods and services in the region. The digital connectivity that is now being forced upon countries by the pandemic should be viewed as merely hastening the evolution of borderless communities between and among nations, which is one of their future goals.

It is essential that countries review and update existing rules and regulations governing digital technology, the official noted, adding that to sustain the continued operation of economies, it is a need to fully optimise and harness the connectivity benefits derived from digital technology.

He also said the COVID-19 pandemic in ASEAN has resulted in heightened security measures in individual and regional territorial borders, in order to restrict the entry of coronavirus infected individuals. On the same token, ASEAN states should not let their guard down in the campaign to counter the ever growing and evolving threat of terrorism, extremism, radicalism and transnational crime in the region.

In the interview, the Deputy Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives said the National Assembly (NA) of Vietnam, as the AIPA 2020 Chair, under the leadership of its Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, capably led AIPA member parliaments in facing the COVID-19 crisis with resolve and determination to overcome, heal and recover as one united, responsive and cohesive region.

Acting intrepidly to rally AIPA member states, Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, in a March 30, 2020 communication to the heads of AIPA member parliaments, called on the AIPA legislatures to unite in confronting the specter of the pandemic, which threatened the lives of millions of people in the ASEAN region. She urged AIPA parliaments to join hands in instituting measures and five policies designed to coordinate regional efforts in controlling the unprecedented viral outbreak. During the ASEAN leaders interface with AIPA last June 26, she also stressed the need for a whole of country approach to enable the inclusive healing and recovery of the region.

Raneo E. Abu said the House of Representatives of the Philippines highly appreciates the zeal and dedication of the Vietnamese NA, as manifested by its aforementioned efforts to enable AIPA to contribute in the recovery of the ASEAN region from the impact of COVID-19. It also commends and supports the Vietnamese NA’s call for the continued crafting of common parliamentary initiatives to sustain and preserve the gains already achieved towards the full implementation of political, economic and socio-cultural community integration by 2025.

He also highlighted the Philippine lower house’s highest appreciation for the leadership and brotherhood exhibited by the Vietnamese NA during this most difficult chapter of the ASEAN region.

It firmly believes that AIPA 2020 under the helm of the NA of Vietnam will continue to play a major role to make the ASEAN region resilient, cohesive, responsive and undaunted, no matter what challenges member countries have to face in the coming years, according to the official./.VNA