Within the framework of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA 41), the Committee on Political Matters on September 9 held a session with the theme of "Parliamentary diplomacy for sustainable peace and security in ASEAN"  via an online platform, with Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son chairing the occasion.

During his speech, National Assembly (NA) Vice Chairman Do Ba Ty said that, over the past 43 years, the AIPA has become increasingly innovating and has played an important role to support and accompany ASEAN in the integration process. This has been significant in helping to build and develop the ASEAN Community, thereby contributing to peace, stability, prosperity, and sustainable development.

In the context of the complicated global developments, especially this year with the emergence of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, AIPA and ASEAN are showing signs of their close co-operation as they strive to promote cohesion and adaptation in the ASEAN Community.

Furthermore, the AIPA's member parliaments and the Vietnamese NA discussed a variety of topics relating to parliamentary diplomacy achieving peace and sustainable security in ASEAN, especially with regard to traditional and non-traditional security issues. These matters were discussed along with the strengthening of compliance through fundamental international principles, along with laws and commitments aimed at ensuring both regional and world peace and security.

NA Vice Chairman Ty welcomed the inclusive and comprehensive nature of the agenda put forward by the Committee on Political Matters as it contributes to AIPA's vision towards sustainable peace throughout the region and the world, along with prosperity for all people.

During the session, delegates listened to reports concerning the ninth, 10th, and 11th AIPA Advisory Group Meeting (AIPA Caucus), along with reports on the 30th, 34th, and 36th meetings of ASEAN-AIPA leaders over the past three years. Participants then discussed the topic of parliamentary diplomacy as a way of achieving sustainable peace and security in ASEAN.

Upon the conclusion of the meeting, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister and member of the NA Committee for Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son emphasised that AIPA member parliaments will try their best to ramp up parliamentary diplomacy and co-operation. This will take place alongside co-ordination between countries and between various legislative and executive agencies as a way of promoting regional peace, security, and regional structural order to ensure transparency based on ASEAN-centered rules.

With regard to the East Sea issue, member parliaments agreed with the continued assurance of peace, security, and stability in the East Sea, emphasising the need to uphold the spirit of respecting law whilst bolstering co-operation in trust building. This should occur whilst using peaceful measures based on international law to fully implement the DOC and work towards an effective and consistent COC that is in line with international law, and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS).

They also affirmed that they will continue supporting and strengthening ASEAN's capacity to tackle traditional and non-traditional security challenges, in addition to coping with the impact of the pandemic.

Participants consented to make greater efforts in order to carry out parliamentary diplomacy, including the exchange of effective methods by regional and international organisations as a way of contributing to peace and shared prosperity.

A report showcasing the results of the Committee’s session will be presented at the second AIPA plenary session which is scheduled to take place on September 10. VOV