Vietnam hands over AIPA Presidency to Brunei
Chairwoman of Vietnamese National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan transferred 2021’s AIPA Presidency (AIPA42) to Brunei Darussalam today at the closing ceremony of the 41st ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly General Assembly.
Chairwoman of Vietnamese National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (right) hands over a hammer which is the symbol of AIPA Presidency to Pengiran Haji Sahari bin Pengiran Haji Salleh, Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to Viet Nam. — VNA/VNS Photos
After three working days with six sessions focusing on ASEAN and AIPA’s issues, the 41st AIPA’s General Assembly wrapped up with success, Chairwoman Ngân, president of AIPA41, said.
“The success of AIPA is the active participation of delegates via teleconference in spite of limited time while member countries are giving priority to COVID-19 pandemic containment and economic recovery. Resolutions approved at the 41st AIPA General Assembly highlighted the roles of AIPA in making commitments to ensure peace, security and sustainability of the region,” she said.
She noted that AIPA attaches great importance to strengthening partnership and dialogue with ASEAN on various levels and looked forward to physical meetings to be held next year during Brunei’s presidency.
Pehin Dato Abdul Rahman Taib, Speaker of Legislative Council of Brunei Darussalam, said the council had already started making arrangements for the 42nd AIPA General Assembly in Bandar Seri Begawan next year.
He pledged utmost commitment to put in the best effort during their AIPA Presidency in the next year in spite of uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During our presidency of the 42nd General Assembly of AIPA, we look forward to working closely with the AIPA Secretariat as well as AIPA member parliaments to continue building on good work in the past in ensuring the realisation of AIPA’s visions and two aspirations.
“I would like to seek the support and co-operation from the speakers and parliamentarians of AIPA member parliaments as well as our dialogue partners and relevant stakeholders towards the success of our AIPA Presidency,” he said.
The 41st AIPA General Assembly’s closing ceremony witnessed the admission of parliaments of Morocco and Norway as new AIPA observers.
The admission ceremony of AIPA new observers is chaired by NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.
NA chairwoman Ngan presented devotion awards to Pany Yathotou, President of the National Assembly of Lao PDR and Tong Thi Phong, vice chairwoman of Vietnamese National Assembly for their excellent contributions to the AIPA.
AIPA cooperation crucial in mitigating COVID-19’s impact on society
A consistent approach and cooperation between member parliaments of the ASEAN Inter-parliamentary Assembly in tackling COVID-19 and post-pandemic recovery is among suggestions proposed by delegates to the virtual meeting of the Committee on Social Matters
Addressing the meeting, Vice Chairwoman of Vietnam’s National Assembly Tong Thi Phong stressed that AIPA’s support and effective collaboration among AIPA member parliaments is a decisive factor in realising the goal of building a people-centred and socially-responsible ASEAN Community.
During the event, participants discussed challenges brought by COVID-19 for labour, employment, social welfare, culture, education, vocational training, biodiversity, waste treatment and other social matters. They also exchanged experiences and know-hows applied by their respective countries in tackling the aforementioned matters.
Delegates to the meeting proposed multiple approaches and responsive measures to protect lives and health of people, as well as environment, aiming at sustainable development in the region and the world.They affirmed the determination of AIPA Member Parliaments to support the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community in responding to COVID-19 ensuring that no one is left behind during epidemic outbreaks and other public health emergencies.
Nguyen Hoang Mai, Vice Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly’s Social Affairs Committee to the Committee on Social Matters of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly informed delegates on the Vietnamese legislature’s efforts in assisting people through the pandemic.
Specifically, the Vietnamese National Assembly has ensured a legal framework for implementing measures in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Assembly also approved a support package worth 62 trillion VND to assist people and enterprises affected by the pandemic. It also adjusted the state budget towards promoting public investment and economic recovery. Resolutions on removing obstacles facing enterprises hard hit by the pandemic have also been issued by the National Assembly in a bid to facilitate post-pandemic recovery.
The meeting adopted a draft resolution on “Advancing AIPA’s Role In Supporting ASEAN Socio-cultural Community in Responding to COVID-19”. The final resolution is expected to be approved by the 41st General Assembly of AIPA.
AIPA-41 Joint Communiqué approved with e-signatures of AIPA legislative leaders
A joint announcement of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41) was approved with e-signatures from legislative leaders of AIPA members at the second plenary session of AIPA 41, which took place virtually on September 10.
The second plenary session of AIPA, chaired by Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, saw the participation of legislative leaders of ASEAN member countries.
Delegates spoke highly of Vietnam’s efforts in realising the General Assembly of AIPA in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.
At the event, participants heard and approved reports of the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians of AIPA (WAIPA) AIPA Committees, the Unofficial Meeting of Young Parliamentarians of AIPA, and AIPA Committees on Political, Economic, Social and Organisational Matters.
The AIPA 41 General Assembly was held in the ASEAN spirit of friendship, brotherhood and cooperation, to cohesive and responsive of the ASEAN Community.
Vietnam receives international acclaim for hosting of AIPA-41
Lao National Assembly Chairwoman Pany Yathotou voiced her strong support for the theme Parliamentary Diplomacy for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community which she stated expresses the AIPA’s desire to further strengthen co-operation between ASEAN member states and partners through parliamentary diplomacy whilst uniting to tackle emerging challenges in the ASEAN region.
The Lao politician went on to signal her country’s great appreciation of ASEAN’s timely response measures against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, especially those introduced by Vietnam in its role as the Chair of ASEAN 2020. Vietnam hosted the 36th ASEAN Summit, Special ASEAN + 3 Summit, and the Meeting between AIPA and ASEAN leaders via an online format, in which leaders of ASEAN Governments, Parliaments, and partners reaffirmed their commitment to co-operating in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Discussing the general theme of the meeting, Cambodian National Assembly Chairman Samdech Heng Samrin stated that the event’s theme can be considered appropriate as it serves to reflect the bloc’s desire to move towards building a single, united, and resilient community that is capable of seizing upon the opportunities and effectively handling challenges as they emerge.
As the COVID-19 pandemic presents unprecedented challenges both in economic and social terms, Chairman Samrin called on the individual Parliaments of ASEAN to strengthen their co-operation and solidarity to promote the bloc’s common interests.
Furthermore, the meeting also saw Puan Maharani, Speaker of Indonesia’s House of Representatives, share the view that as the COVID-19 epidemic takes its toll on regional and global economies, the individual Parliaments of ASEAN member states should put forward appropriate policies. This should be done with the aim of cushioning the impact of the pandemic and benefitting both the economy and the livelihoods of citizens throughout the region.
The Indonesian speaker also suggested ways of building trust among nations whilst promoting ASEAN’s central role in settling regional disputes. Indeed, it is imperative to comply with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and to ensure the legitimate rights and interests of countries with sea boundaries.
Expressing his honour at participating in the AIPA-41, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Martin Chungong spoke highly of Vietnam’s role as AIPA Chair in 2020, and noted the resonance between the IPU and the AIPA has further benefitted parliamentary diplomacy as it helps the Parliaments of both sides co-operate closely at multilateral forums.
With the world dealing with many crisis simultaneously, including the COVID-19 pandemic, parliamentary diplomacy must play an important role in each country’s foreign affairs to ensure all institutions operate effectively and dynamically, according to the IPU President. He therefore suggested that Parliaments strive to fully co-operate across many areas, such as global peace, stability, and on women-related issues.
At the meeting, Fabrizio Hochschild Drummond, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, stated the great value of ASEAN’s commitments towards the United Nations and multilateralism. Amid the context of global turmoil, he said the interaction between the United Nations and Parliaments will serve an important role, especially in the ASEAN region.
According to the UN official, the US Secretary-General stressed the importance of having a multi-stakeholder, people-centered approach, while also promoting multilateralism in a bid to deliver better results for citizens. VNS/VNA/VNN/VOV