ASEAN parliaments sign joint communiqué as AIPA-42 wraps up

August 25, 2021 - 17:01
The 42nd General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) wrapped up on Wednesday with the signing of a joint communique facilitating regional digital inclusion.


Chairman of Vietnamese National Assembly Vương Đình Huệ attends the second plenary session of AIPA-42 on Wednesday. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn

HÀ NỘI — The 42nd General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) wrapped up on Wednesday with the signing of a joint communique facilitating regional digital inclusion.

Chairman of Vietnamese National Assembly Vương Đình Huệ was one of the representatives to sign the communique.

According to the joint communique, AIPA-42’s theme of “Forging parliamentary co-operation in digital inclusion towards ASEAN Community 2025” covers, fosters and facilitates digital inclusion to further develop parliamentary co-operation in the context of the pandemic.

The theme also emphasises the role of parliamentarians in supporting the ASEAN 2025 vision towards to a politically-cohesive, economically-connected and social responsibility sharing community.

The resolutions adopted at AIPA-42 will create new ways forward for AIPA and ASEAN to work together to respond to regional and global challenges.

The joint communiqué also re-emphasises AIPA-42’s main activities as well as the contributions of the delegations.

The Vietnamese delegation has consistently expressed its views on the necessity of promoting digital transformation, removing barriers through an appropriate legal framework and building a digital economy and a digital society.

Việt Nam has also called for increased co-operation and experience sharing in the application of science and technology to effectively control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Việt Nam proposed strengthening research and development co-operation, and equitable distribution of vaccines, treatment medicine and equipment to respond to COVID-19.

In his closing remarks, Pehin Dato Abdul Rahman Taib, Speaker of the Legislative Council of Brunei Darussalam and AIPA-42 President, reaffirmed that AIPA-42 has taken place in the spirit of solidarity and friendship. Member parliaments discussed important issues in various areas.

At the second plenary session the same day, delegates adopted resolutions of the AIPA Women Parliamentarians (WAIPA), committees on political, economic, social and organisational matters.

WAIPA approved a resolution on promoting women’s economic empowerment in the future of work and post-pandemic recovery through digital and financial inclusion.

The Committee on Political Matters adopted resolutions on strengthening parliamentary diplomacy towards the ASEAN Community; enhancing cybersecurity and data protection towards a resilient cyberspace in ASEAN; fostering human security in digital inclusion for ASEAN.

The AIPA Committee on Economic Matters approved two resolutions - one on promoting an inclusive digital ASEAN to improve micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises’ capacity and boost economic integration in the bloc, and another on post-pandemic economic recovery that focuses on tourism co-operation in ASEAN.

The Committee on Social Matters adopted a resolution on strengthening co-operation and promoting digital inclusion to mitigate the impacts of climate change; resolution on integrating global sustainable development goals into national goals; and resolution on the role of technology in facilitating constituents.

At the closing ceremony of AIPA-42, Brunei handed over AIPA-43 Chairmanship to Cambodia.

The 43rd AIPA will be held in Cambodia between September 12 and 16, 2022.

President of the National Assembly of Cambodia Samdech Heng Samrin said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on public health and the global economy, including ASEAN’s.

The practical situation requires promoting digitalisation in order to ensure economic recovery, foster regional digital connectivity co-operation, cross-border digital commerce, secure data flow, cybersecurity and digital inclusion.

“In these difficult times, it is more important to strengthen the partnership within the AIPA framework and between AIPA and international partners. As the upcoming AIPA Chair, the Cambodian National Assembly wishes to work with the member parliaments, the AIPA Secretariat and dialogue partners to further strengthen the sound co-operation, ensuring the achievement of ASEAN's vision and aspiration towards realising a people-driven and centered community,” he said.

The General Assembly of AIPA-42 also adopted a resolution to admit parliaments of Ukraine and Pakistan as observers and expanded the observer network to create a regional and global forum for other observer countries to participate in.

Promoting AIPA- European Parliament dialogue

At the meeting of the AIPA-42’s Organisational Committee on Wednesday morning, Việt Nam agreed to foster co-operation between ASEAN and AIPA, saying that more studies and consultation must be conducted to figure out a suitable information exchange and coordination between the two sides.

Regarding the establishment of an AIPA- European Parliament (EP) dialogue, Việt Nam held that it provides an opportunity to increase the exchange of information and experience and deepen ties between AIPA and EP as an observer. AIPA needs to further strengthen the participation of the observers in order to achieve specific and more practical results.

Việt Nam also underscored the importance of building an operational framework for AIPA’s Young Parliamentarians.

Participants at the event said that there must be a practical dialogue mechanism between AIPA and ASEAN to promote the discussion of the ASEAN integration plan.

They agreed with the AIPA Secretariat’s proposal on setting up an annual inter-regional dialogue outside the AIPA General Assembly framework relating to the formation of the AIPA-EP dialogue. They also concurred to establish a working group for reviewing necessary procedures and relevant technical issues for the organisation of a meeting of AIPA Young Parliamentarians. — VNS