|Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân and delegates in a group photo at the AIPA-41's closing ceremony. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — A joint communiqué and 26 resolutions were adopted at the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41) which wrapped up on Thursday.
The general assembly, which was held via teleconference for the first time in its history, saw a large number of delegates from 30 member parliaments, observers and international organisations.
There were nearly 400 delegates including 230 parliamentarians. Eleven presidents of ten AIPA member parliaments attended sessions.
Addressing the event’s closing ceremony in Hà Nội, Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân, who is also AIPA-41 President said: “The success of AIPA-41 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.”
Representatives from parliaments of ASEAN member countries and observers spoke highly of careful preparations of Việt Nam as host for the event, contributing to a successful AIPA-41, she said.
“The General Assembly is a step ahead for AIPA to implement its guidelines and targets, including promoting solidarity, understanding and close co-operation between ASEAN member countries’ parliaments and accompanying the governments in building a community for peace, stability and people’s interests.”
Resolutions approved at the General Assembly and discussions highlighted the roles of AIPA in making commitments to ensure regional peace, security, prosperity and sustainability, towards interests of every person in the ASEAN Community, she said.
She underlined traditional and non-traditional security challenges facing the region and the world, saying that AIPA should enhance solidarity and parliamentary diplomacy, adhere to international law, the UN Charter and ASEAN Charter in order to build a cohesive and responsive ASEAN Community.
She stressed that sustainable peace and security are foundations for long-term and prosperous development. Therefore, AIPA has always upheld the enhancement of partnership and dialogue with ASEAN at various levels, she said, adding that AIPA supports ASEAN in signing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) this year and welcomes the establishment of an ASEAN fund for responding to COVID-19.
For the first time during annual AIPA general assemblies in the past three years, the AIPA’s Committee on Political Matters held a session and reached consensus on six resolutions, Ngân told reporters at the press conference following the closing ceremony.
According to the top parliamentarian, the topics discussed at AIPA-41 were practical, especially solutions to respond to COVID-19 and economic recovery post-pandemic.
Participants agreed on the role of AIPA parliaments in supporting governments to implement post-pandemic recovery plans.
Regarding promoting regional security and peace, delegates highlighted the importance of complying with international rules, Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and working towards the adoption of the Code of Conduct (COC) to ensure peace, security and safety in the South China Sea (called East Sea by Việt Nam).
The joint communiqué emphasised the priority of AIPA and ASEAN which is to put people at its core, listen to people’s voice and focus on addressing difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in order not to leave anyone behind.
“Việt Nam’s initiative to organise the meeting of AIPA’s young parliamentarians has been warmly welcomed by member countries. The initiative affirms the role of the youth in general and young parliamentarians in particular in policymaking of each country. Young parliamentarians play an important role in engaging in ASEAN Community building.
“From now on, at every AIPA annual general assembly, there will be a forum of young parliamentarians which represents one third of ASEAN’s population to deliver their thoughts and aspirations to lawmakers,” Ngân said.
Besides the 41st General Assembly of AIPA, in the year of AIPA Presidency, the Vietnamese National Assembly has successfully organised a series of activities including the meeting of AIPA-ASEAN high-level leaders, the third meeting of AIPA Advisory Council on Dangerous Drugs, a conference on parliamentary partnership on educational and cultural co-operation for sustainable development.
“Along with the success of external activities this year such as chairmanship of ASEAN 2020, AIPA Presidency and being a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, the successful organisation of the 41st General Assembly of AIPA has made contributions to consolidating the position and prestige of Việt Nam in general and Vietnamese National Assembly in particular in the world arena. Activities conducted during AIPA-41 Presidency Year, especially the General Assembly’s organisation, are important highlights in external activities of the Vietnamese National Assembly in the 14th tenure.” VNS