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Regional lawmakers gather

Update: September, 19/2012 - 09:45

 

Delegations pose at the opening ceremony of the 33rd ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly in Lombok, Indonesia. — VNA/VNS Photo Doan Tan
JAKARTA (VNS)— Viet Nam's National Assembly (NA) praised the practical agenda of the 33rd ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), especially the planned discussions on regional security matters such as the East Sea issue.

Vietnamese NA Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong made the statement yesterday at the first plenary session of AIPA's 33rd General Assembly in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia.

Phong reinforced the NA's pledge to continue making practical and effective contributions to raise AIPA's role towards an ASEAN Community of peace, security, stability, cooperation, development and prosperity.

She noted that ASEAN member countries are making every effort and taking determined moves to strengthen cooperation and boost connectivity towards a strong ASEAN community by 2015.

In this process, Viet Nam applauds and actively participates in promoting cooperation among ASEAN member countries and its outside partners, she said.

This aims to maintain peace and stability for mutual development as well as effectively cope with emerging challenges, such as economic development gaps, natural disasters, climate change, food and energy security, disease prevention, trans-national crime, smuggling, drugs, and international terrorism.

Phong also affirmed Viet Nam's support for ASEAN in expanding and deepening its relations with outside partners while promoting its central role in evolving East Asian architecture

She called on AIPA to actively assist ASEAN member countries in continuing their efforts to strengthen cooperation, solidarity and consensus in addressing challenges to peace, security and stability.

In addition, AIPA should support ASEAN in fostering the "law enforcement culture" to encourage member governments to seriously implement their ASEAN priorities and commitments, she added.

Parliamentary roles

AIPA President Marzuki Alie said on Monday that cooperation between AIPA members is now essential as ASEAN faces many traditional and non-traditional challenges.

These challenges include economic development gaps, natural disasters, climate change, trans-national crime and international terrorism, noted Marzuki Alie, who is the Speaker of Indonesia's House of Representatives.

This requires greater cohesion between people in ASEAN and greater efforts to turn the leaders' political will on ASEAN integration into the will of all people living within the bloc, he said.

According to Marzuki, the 33rd AIPA General Assembly will discuss issues of AIPA's political, economic, social, organisational and operational matters, as well as the challenges and opportunities the organisation faces when strengthening inter-parliamentary cooperation in the region.

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, who is also Chair of ASEAN for 2012, stressed that AIPA member countries have consolidated and hastened ASEAN integration as AIPA connects people across the region and shares the common goal of creating a peaceful, stable, secure, developed and prosperous ASEAN.

Sideline meetings

Before the plenary session, Phong paid a courtesy visit to AIPA President Marzuki Alie, and later met delegation heads from Cambodia, Belarus and Russia.

While meeting with Speaker of the Cambodian Parliament Heng Somrin, Phong expressed her wish to increase cooperation and experience sharing between the two legislative bodies to improve the role and efficiency of their law making enforcement.

In reply, Heng Somrin said he believes that with their firm bilateral cooperation foundations, the two countries will make greater contributions to peace, stability and development in the region and the world at large.

Meanwhile, the Belarusian and Russian parliament leaders vowed to strengthen relations with the Vietnamese NA in particular and with AIPA in general, to consolidate the central role of ASEAN in the evolving East Asian architecture.

Earlier on September 17, Phong met with the Speaker of Brunei's Legislative Council, Pehin Dato Isa bin Ibrahim, the Deputy Director of the Foreign Affairs Bureau at China's National Assembly Zha Peixin and Victor Ortega, the head of the parliamentary delegation from the Philippines.

The Brunei, Philippines and Chinese officials praised the Vietnamese NA's important contributions to national construction, development, economic restructuring and modernisation.

The Vietnamese NA Vice Chairwoman stressed the need to increase cooperation between parliaments and their committees as well as the civil organisations of these countries. — VNS

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