The 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA 41) opened in Hanoi on Tuesday. The virtual AIPA General Meeting and other activities reflect Vietnam’s effort to forge unity and lead AIPA’s contribution to building the ASEAN Community.
After assuming the chairmanship of AIPA for 2020, the Vietnamese National Assembly set as a theme for the 41st General Assembly: “Parliamentary Diplomacy for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community”. It reflects the trend of legislative diplomacy in ASEAN and supports the development of a cohesive and active ASEAN Community to overcome challenges and move toward sustainable development.
With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading worldwide, the Vietnamese National Assembly, as the chair of AIPA, has taken AIPA meetings and other activities online.
Nguyen Manh Tien, Vice Chairman of the NA’s Committee for External Relations and Head of the AIPA 41 Information Sub-committee, said: “On March 30th, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, as AIPA Chairwoman, sent letters to the heads of AIPA members to express her sympathy for losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and ask legislative bodies to work together with governments to deal with the pandemic. The virtual 36th ASEAN summit on June 26th was praised by the participants.”
The Vietnamese National Assembly chaired the 3rd meeting of the AIPA Advisory Council on Dangerous Drugs on June 29th and the Conference of Parliamentary Partners on Education and Culture for Sustainable Development (AIPA ECC) on July 30th. It was the first time AIPA held a conference on parliamentary partnership in implementing the UN’s sustainable development goals with the participation of the General Secretary of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN representatives.
Nguyen Van Giau, Chairman of the NA’s Committee for External Relations and Deputy head of the AIPA 41 Information Sub-committee said: “Countries have welcomed Vietnam’s initiative to hold a Conference of Parliamentary Partners on Education and Culture for Sustainable Development. We intend that each AIPA tenure will discuss a topic among the UN’s 17 goals and 169 indicators to find solutions for effective implementation in ASEAN.”
The AIPA 41 takes place as ASEAN forges cohesion to strengthen its voice in maintaining regional peace and stability. ASEAN members have struggled to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, launched new policies for an economic rebound following the pandemic, ensured food security and social security, and worked to prevent an economic recession. Other impacts have come from unexpected global developments and the policy adjustments of big countries.
The AIPA 41 is slated to consider resolutions on strengthening the role of female parliamentarians in securing jobs and income for women workers, on parliamentary diplomacy for ASEAN’s sustainable peace and security, and on implementing COVID-19 prevention and control policies.
AIPA parliamentarians will review achievements and challenges and reinforce unity, cooperation, and consensus in handling regional and global difficulties.
During 25 years as AIPA member, the Vietnamese National Assembly has participated in all AIPA activities and initiated ideas for reforming ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization (AIPO) and AIPA and collaborating with ASEAN to resolve shared issues.