|Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (right) and Vietnamese National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân preside over the interface. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with Representatives of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) aims to affirm the close co-ordination between the governments and parliaments of member nations in building a people-centred ASEAN Community.
That was the message from Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc speaking at the event in Hà Nội on Friday.
He highlighted the role and efforts of AIPA in harmonising laws between regional countries, adding that the debate is expected to roll out orientations to realise the common goal of building the ASEAN Community.
In her speech, Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman and Chair of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA 41), Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân, said the assembly "highly values ASEAN’s joint effort to effectively respond to the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic".
"The AIPA supports the implementation of ASEAN initiatives and continues to give assistance to the governments of the ASEAN countries in controlling the pandemic, improving their capacity for readiness in emergencies, recovering post-pandemic economic activities, and maintaining development stability in the region."
As an important factor in the process of ASEAN integration in many areas, AIPA would like to have more exchanges and coordination activities with ASEAN at all levels, Ngân said.
In the future, AIPA would continue to strengthen co-operation with ASEAN to ensure transparency, openness, and a law-based approach, emphasising the bloc’s central role, she added.
Ngân proposed further strengthening of substantive cooperation between the AIPA and ASEAN, promoting partnerships in regional connectivity, and enhancing the capacity of the ASEAN countries to deal with non-traditional security issues.
The AIPA member parliaments were committed to promoting the ratification of regional agreements on enhancing cooperation to build policies for developing the circular economy, renewable energy, and innovation, towards proactively adapting to the fourth Industrial Revolution.
Attention would be paid to boosting efforts to complete negotiations and shortly sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, promote sustainable development in the ASEAN Community, expand the network of smart cities, and strengthen public health systems in the region, she stressed.
In the immediate future, she added, ASEAN needed to focus its resources on enhancing its economic resilience following the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining its commitment to opening trade and investment markets, connecting supply chains, ensuring food security and access to medicines and medical supplies at reasonable prices, preventing economic recession, and supporting people and businesses affected by the crisis.
It was also necessary to promote the development of industries that require high levels of knowledge as well as the digital economy, contributing to enhancing the resilience of regional economies in pandemic situations.
Regarding socio-cultural issues, "AIPA encourages the enhancement of the role of women, children, and the elderly in the implementation of socio-economic development policies," she said.
Ngân also praised ASEAN’s efforts in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women.
"AIPA calls for the bloc to further promote the spirit of friendship, cooperation, responsibility, and respect for the diversity of ASEAN, and at the same time expand exchanges and support for mutual sustainable tourism development," she said. — VNS