|Former Chairman of Việt Nam National Assembly, Chairman of AIPA-31 Nguyễn Phú Trọng receives delegates from AIPA member countries, AIPA special observers and observers to the conference on empowering female legislation in lawmaking processes held in Việt Nam in 2010. — VNA/VNS Photo Trí Dũng
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s National Assembly (NA) has contributed actively and proactively to the development of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) over the last 25 years.
The country’s legislature became an official member of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organisation (AIPO) – the predecessor of AIPA – on September 19, 1995, at the 16th AIPO General Assembly in Singapore.
At the first AIPO general assembly that it attended as an official member, the Vietnamese NA made active contributions to the assembly’s activities. In his remarks at the opening session of the event, NA Chairman Nông Đức Mạnh stressed that the NA joining AIPO after the country became a member of ASEAN was of great significance, marking a significant change in Southeast Asia for the independence and prosperity of each nation in the region.
Since then, in every difficult time the region has faced, the legislative body has taken timely action, together with parliaments of other member states, to deal with arising problems.
In 1998 – a year after the Asian financial crisis rocked Asia – Việt Nam proposed organising an AIPO conference on the role of legislative bodies in dealing with the crisis, which was held a year later.
In 2002, Việt Nam hosted the AIPO General Assembly for the first time. With its role as AIPO Chair in the 2001-02 tenure, the country’s legislature successfully organised the 23rd General Assembly in Hà Nội, contributing in a practical manner to the organisation’s development.
Among 33 resolutions approved at the meeting, 20 were initiated by Việt Nam and those ideas remain relevant until this day.
Việt Nam again successfully organised the 31st AIPA General Assembly from September 20-24, 2010, in Hà Nội, fulfilling its responsibility as AIPA Chair in the 2009-10 tenure, expressing the country’s efforts to integrate into the region.
The Vietnamese legislature has made a great many proposals at AIPA general assemblies over the last 25 years and participated in AIPA activities. Such contributions helped consolidate Viet Nam’s friendship and multifaceted cooperation with ASEAN member states and affirmed the legislative body’s position and role in the region and the world.
Former deputy head of the NA Committee for External Relations Ngô Anh Dũng said that since becoming a member, the NA has fully taken part in AIPO activities and made suggestions to help the organisation operate more effectively and substantially.
In the political realm, Việt Nam’s initiatives mainly focus on improving the organisation’s role, intensifying intra-bloc collaboration, and building the ASEAN Community.
In the economic field, the country’s initiatives emphasise the urgent need for economic connectivity in the region as well as the role of parliaments in coping with economic crises and boosting sustainable development.
In terms of social affairs and gender equality, the NA has proposed many initiatives, especially on promoting the role of women in general and female parliamentarians in particular. Of special note, the first AIPO Women Parliamentarians’ Meeting was held at the 19th AIPO General Assembly in 1998, following initiatives by Viet Nam and Malaysia.
Việt Nam has made other contributions in terms of organisational matters of AIPO and AIPA, such as granting insignias to those making major contributions to the organisation’s development, and intensifying links between the organisation and ASEAN.
In 2007, to connect Government heads and top legislators of ASEAN countries, Việt Nam proposed a dialogue between ASEAN and AIPA leaders.
When hosting the AIPA General Assembly for the second time in 2010, the country organised the first dialogue. Since then, the high-level dialogue has been held within the framework of the ASEAN Year and AIPA Year.
This year, as the 41st AIPA Chair, the Vietnamese legislature has taken the initiative in cooperating with member parliaments to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Governments in seeking measures to promote post-COVID-19 economic recovery, contributing to consolidating cooperation and solidarity in ASEAN in a spirit of “Parliamentary diplomacy for a cohesive and responsive ASEAN Community”. — VNS