41st AIPA General Assembly opens in Hanoi

VOV.VN - The 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41) opened in a virtual format in Hanoi on September 8 themed Parliamentary Diplomacy for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community.

Addressing the event, National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, in her capacity as AIPA 2020 Chair and AIPA-41 Chair, noted that this marks the first time in the event’s history that an AIPA has been held virtually, with the shift occurring due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

She added that the organisation of the 41st AIPA General Assembly is an indication of the Parliaments’ determination and efforts to stand in unity with the various Governments of other ASEAN countries to overcome challenges together. This includes stamping out the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, moving forward for the sake of happiness and well-being of each citizen, and for greater co-operation and development within the ASEAN Community.

“I highly appreciate the prompt action of ASEAN leaders, especially Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s statement on the joint ASEAN response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” NA Chairwoman Ngan said. “The timely and effective actions by the Governments of ASEAN countries, their tireless contributions, and the sacrifices of all forces in society, have contributed to joint efforts to prevent and repel the epidemic in regional countries.”

“We appreciate the good results of the ASEAN-AIPA leaders’ meeting in the framework of the recent 36th ASEAN Summit, helping to promote dialogue mechanisms and close linkages between Governments and Parliaments in ASEAN,” she emphasised.

According to NA Chairwoman Ngan, during the AIPA 2020 chairmanship year, the Vietnamese NA is keen to closely co-ordinate efforts with the Parliaments of ASEAN countries to organise a range of activities, contributing to promoting the role of AIPA and Parliamentary members of the organisation in an effort to build an ASEAN Community comprised of all three pillars, namely the ASEAN Political-Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community, and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

Furthermore, she said that the Vietnamese NA is also actively seeking to expand AIPA’s connection with the Inter-Parliamentary Union as a means of resolving global issues, therefore promoting greater parliamentary diplomacy and parliamentary action.

“We strongly believe that, with the growing cohesion that we are building together, AIPA will support ASEAN in bringing into full play its centrality in the regional structure, proactively adapting to opportunities and challenges, contributing to maintaining peace, security, and stability, and acting together to protect the common interests of the ASEAN Community and overcome any difficulties and challenges,” NA Chairwoman Ngan stressed.

In a video clip played to participants at the conference, Vietnamese Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong expressed his belief that the spirit of ‘thinking as a community, acting for a community’ will see the AIPA-41 meet its targets of building a strong, cohesive, and internationally recognised ASEAN which is a people-oriented, people-centred, and resilient community.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc proposed that ASEAN’s executive and legislative bodies should continue working closely in a bid to promote the successful implementation of the ASEAN Community Blueprint. Indeed, this should be done with a primary focus on fostering economic integration, strengthening connectivity, narrowing development gaps, whilst simultaneously integrating and harmonising ASEAN decisions to go alongside national development schemes.

Moreover, the Vietnamese PM called on the parliaments of AIPA members to unite with their Governments to build an ASEAN Community based on the rule of law, equality, mutual respect, the settlement of disputes and differences in a peaceful manner, all of which should be done in line with international law.