NA Standing Committee discusses deputy election law

The 13th National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee commenced its 35th session in Hanoi on February 25, evaluating a number of laws, including laws on electing deputies to the NA and the People’s Councils.

A national election council should be established once an election date is announced, and automatically disperse after the NA recognises the eligibility of the deputies to ensure the council operates effectively and economically, according to Phung Quoc Hien, Head of the NA Committee for Finance and Budget, and Truong Thi Mai, head of the NA Committee for Social Affairs, and other members of the standing committee.

The council could be reassembled if a supplementary deputy election is needed, they held.

NA Standing Committee members also asserted that the law should further clarify regulations on the functions, rights, responsibilities and organisation of the national election council, as well as its relations with local governments.

Meanwhile, they highlighted the need for more specific regulations on the ratio of females, ethnic minorities, youth and re-elected deputies.

Truong Thi Mai, Head of the NA Committee for Social Affairs, and Ksor Phuoc, Head of the NA Council of Ethnic Affairs, held that the minimum ratio should be clearly stated in the candidacy list.

NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung proposed that the ratio should be flexible, but that a secondary election is held if the ratio is below the minimum figure.

Legislators also discussed regulations on electoral campaigns, proposing alternatives to meeting with voters and using the mass media to ensure equality, publicity and transparency of the election.

During the session, the NA Standing Committee will also drafted opinions on a number of other laws, including the Law on Maritime-Island Resources and Environment, the revised Law on the State Budget and a draft Referendum Law.

ASEAN co-operation needed in the fight to combat piracy

A delegation from Viet Nam is attending a two-day conference in Kuala Lumpur to discuss information sharing on the fight against maritime terrorism.

Shahidan Kassim, the minister in the Malaysian Prime Minister's Office, yesterday stressed the need for co-operation to beat the age-old problem.

Senior officier from the Department of Foreign Relations under Ministry of Public Security, Lieutenant Colonel Tran Thi Kim Nguyet, said the region's maritime security situation had become worse as attacks from pirates became more complex.

Nguyet said ASEAN countries should step up efforts to share intelligence and hold law-enforcement exercises among the bloc members.

He said Viet Nam had set up a maritime security hotline with the Philippines and would soon link China and Laos.

Vietnamese oil tanker Sunrise 689 was hijacked and robbed of a third of its oil load by a gang of armed pirates, causing losses of VND30 billion (US$1.4 million) last October.

The ten ASEAN members included Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines. Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. 

Diplomatic activities boost social economic development in localities

In recent years, localities nationwide have actively promoted overall diplomatic activities to seek cross-sector international cooperation, according to a recent online conference on diplomatic activities.

At the event, representatives from 63 provinces and cities discussed issues ranging from cross-border labour management, citizenship protection, experience in attracting foreign investment, and the promotion and preservation of the nation’s traditional cultural values.

Giving their opinion on cross-border labour management, representatives from the northern province of Ha Giang reported the increasing trend in the number of residents seeing employment in China.

In order to address the matter, the province has introduced numerous programmes to help generate household income and improve access to concessionary financial supports as well as creating more jobs locally and internationally.

Representatives from the Central city of Da Nang requested authorised bodies to give early guidance on new laws such as the Law on Immigration and Migration and Foreign Residence in Vietnam, as well as the new Land Law, in regards to citizenship protection.

Representatives from Hai Phong city and Quang Nam province shared their experience in economic diplomatic collaboration, stressing that localities should prepare their infrastructure and reform administrative policies to attract more foreign investors.

External cultural activities have been actively promoted in the provinces and many have completed their strategic diplomatic programmes through 2020.

Four cultural heritage sites were recognised and re-inscribed by the UNESCO, the Trang An Tourism Complex in the northern province of Ninh Binh, Vi-Giam folk singing, official documents of the reign of the Nguyen Dynasty, and Dong Van Karst plateau.

Many cultural activities were held in localities and abroad to boost the nation’s cultural character and serve social cultural goals.

In recent years, diplomatic activities have resulted in significant achievements contributing to maintaining a peaceful and stable environment as well as bolstering relations between Vietnam and international partners.

132nd IPU Assembly to foster parliamentary exchange

The 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-132), which will take place in Hanoi from March 28 to April 1, is hoped to bolster parliamentary exchange and stimulate trade and investment promotion activities among its member nations.

With the theme “Sustainable Development Goals: Turning Words into Actions”, the event is expected to receive delegates from over 160 countries and international organisations.

As the largest-ever diplomatic event held in Vietnam, the IPU-132 will be a good opportunity for Vietnam to bolster its bilateral diplomatic ties with partners over the world while promoting the country’s culture, tradition and socio-economic achievements to international friends.

It will also help enhance the friendship, cooperation and mutual understanding between Vietnam’s National Assembly (NA) and legislative bodies of other countries and international organisations serving as dialogue partners of the IPU, such as the United Nations.

During recent years, Vietnam has upheld its position in multilateral forums through assuming important positions such as a member of the UN Security Council and the Chair of ASEAN and the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA)

The role as host of the IPU-132 will help further promote the Vietnamese NA at these forums by introducing Vietnam’s diplomatic policy and promoting the position of the country and its NA in the international arena.

The Vietnamese NA officially became a member of the IPU in April 1979, and has since positively and responsibly operated in the forum. The NA has assumed the presidency of the Asia Pacific Geopolitical and ASEAN+3 Groups of the IPU in 2006 and 2010, respectively.

At the 117th IPU Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland in 2007, Vietnam’s NA was elected to the Executive Committee of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). During the IPU-121 in 2009, Vietnam was elected to serve as Vice President of the IPU.

Established in 1889 in Paris, France, the IPU is the oldest multi-national political organisation in the world. Based in Geneva, the organisation currently has 162 member nations.

The Union works to foster connections, coordination, and the exchange of experience among parliaments and parliamentarians of all member countries; discuss questions of international interest and concern and express united views on such issues to bring about action by parliaments and parliamentarians; and contribute to the defence and promotion of human rights.

In recent years, the IPU carried out renovations to its institution and operation to enhance its capacity and efficiency as well as strengthen the cooperation between the Union and member nations’ legislatures.

The Union adopted its Strategy for 2012-2017 under the overall title "Better parliaments, stronger democracy", aiming to enhance global democracy and support parliaments and parliamentarians worldwide in meeting demands and aspirations for peace, human rights, gender equality and development.

Finance Minister talks about key tasks in 2015

Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung said his Ministry will focus on reforming administrative procedures, especially in the fields of tax and customs, in an exclusive interview with our reporter.

Specifically, the time required for individuals and businesses to pay tax will be reduced to 121.5 hours compared to the average of 171 hours/year among ASEAN-6 countries comprising Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

Meanwhile, the time required for social insurance payment will be cut down to 49.5 hours, he said.

The Ministry will strictly control of and restructure public debt to keep it below the safety cap of 65% GDP approved by the National Assembly, and actively issue medium-term Government bonds.

The Ministry will also focus on improving institutions for the operation of securities and financial markets, issuing mechanisms to raise the efficiency of State supervision and management over State-owned enterprises.

VFF President congratulates medical staff ahead of doctor’s day

President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan has congratulated the Military Central Hospital 108, Viet Duc Hospital, Health Ministry and Military Medical Department in Hanoi on the 60 th anniversary of Vietnam Doctor’s Day (February 27).

Visiting Hospital 108 in Hanoi on February 25, he greeted over 600 senior officers and health experts, expressing his hope that they will continue living up to their reputation as the most trust-worthy military hospital in the country.

At Viet Duc hospital, Nhan hailed the outstanding services of doctors and physicians over the last decade, including raising the capacity of the hospital from 430 beds to 1,450.

The VFF President praised the Health Ministry for developing a contingent of qualified doctors and medical care providers and embracing technological advances.

Conveying his best wishes to 4,500 doctors, pharmacists and other staff of the Military Medical Department, Nhan urged them to build on past achievements and continue providing essential care services to the army and the public as well.

Director General of the department, Major General Vu Quoc Binh informed Nhan that the sector has helped upgrade 1,098 medical stations in communes over the last decade.

Each year, grassroots army medical stations offer health check-ups to over 2.6 million individuals, treating more than 969,000, while military hospitals examine 8.6 million people and treat 1.5 million, he said.-

Party official visits health ministry

Politburo member Dinh The Huynh visited the Ministry of Public Health in Hanoi on February 25 on the occasion of the 60 th anniversary of Vietnam Doctors’ Day (February 27).

Huynh urged the medical sector to follow President Ho Chi Minh’s teaching that doctors should be like good mothers while fulfilling tasks assigned by the Party and State.

Besides realising goals for 2016-2020, the ministry was asked to work with the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Popularisation and Education, which is headed by Dinh The Huynh, to write reports reviewing the 10-year implementation of Party Central Committee resolutions on public health care and population and family planning policy, to be submitted to the Secretariat.

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien presented achievements in the sector over the past 60 years, including fulfilling the United Nations Millennial Goals on health care, expanding the network of medical stations equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, developing a contingent of qualified staff in line with regional and international standards, and improving access to health services.

On the occasion, Huynh expressed his hope that healthcare staff will build on their past achievements and fulfil assigned tasks in the coming time.

Congratulations on National Day of Estonia

President Truong Tan Sang and PM Nguyen Tan Dung on February 23 extended their greetings to Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and PM Taavi Roivas, respectively on the occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Estonia (February 24, 1918).

The same day, Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh cabled a message of congratulations to Estonian FM Keit Pentus-Rosimannus.