Vietnamese NA Vice Chairwoman meets IPU leader, Cuban counterpart

Vice Chairwoman of the NA Tong Thi Phong had separate meetings with President of the IPU Gabriela Cuevas Barron and Vice President of the Cuban NA Ana Maria Mari Machado yesterday on the sidelines of the 141st IPU Assembly.

Vietnamese NA Vice Chairwoman meets IPU leader, Cuban counterpart

Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly Tong Thi Phong (second, left) and the Vietnamese delegation at the 141st IPU Assembly

At the meeting with IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron, Phong congratulated the IPU on the union’s 130th anniversary, which shows the strong vitality of multilateralism and the development of parliamentary diplomacy, contributing to maintaining peace, stability and promoting dialogue and cooperation for the future of humankind.

Joining the IPU in 1979, the Vietnamese NA has actively engaged in the organisation’s activities, she said, lauding the IPU cooperation and support for the country in realizing its sustainable development goals over the past two years.

Currently, Vietnam has implemented its commitments to the IPU and the United Nations regarding ensuring sustainable development and improving people’s material and spiritual lives by issuing new legislation, including the Labour Code, the Law on Youth, the Law on the Elderly, and the Law on Alcohol and Tobacco Harm Prevention, she noted.

The Vietnamese officialasked the IPU President to continue supporting Vietnam in fulfilling its commitments. On the occasion, she invited the IPU leader to visit Vietnam and attend an international conference on nutrition and health care with a focus on ethnic groups in 2020.

For her part, IPU President Barron spoke highly of the role Vietnam plays as an active and responsible IPU member, especially in implementing commitments and action programmes set out by the union.

Noting that in the Asia-Pacific region, the results of implementing a number of sustainable development goals have remained modest, she suggestedVietnam share its experience with regional countries in the field.

She also expressed her hope that with Vietnam’s experience and performanceas well as the dynamic development of the region, Asian countries and Vietnam will succeed in completing all of their targets.

At the meeting with Vice President of the Cuban National Assembly Ana Maria Mari Machado, Phong showed her delight at the growth of the special traditional friendship between Vietnam and Cuba, especially after the visit of Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong in March 2018 and the return visit by Chairman of the Cuban State Council and the Council of Ministers Miguel Diaz-Canel in November 2018.

Leaders of both sides have agreed to strengthen cooperation and experience sharing, which is also the orientations for collaboration between the two NAs, she said, showing her pleasure at the progress in the legislative bodies’ partnership, especially in sharing experience and setting up friendship parliamentarian groups.

She proposed that the two sides increase delegation exchange to share experience in legislative and supervision activities as well as the strengthening of the NA’s role in the political system, parliamentary diplomacy and cooperation at multilateral international parliamentary forums.

Phong thanked Cuba for supporting Vietnam to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure. Recognising difficulties and challenges facing Cuba currently, she affirmed that Vietnam supports Cuba’s just stance in fighting for embargo lifting.

For her part, Ana Maria Mari Machado said that Cuba hopes to learn from the Vietnamese NA’s experience in law building and supervision.

She proposed that the two sides work closely to hold a conference between Vietnamese and Cuban NA leaders in 2020. She also expressed hope that Vietnam will continue supporting Cuba’s standpoint in removing embargoes.

NA Vice Chairwoman suggests ways to promote respect for int’l law

Vietnamese NA Vice Chairwoman meets IPU leader, Cuban counterpart
Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly Tong Thi Phong delivers a speech at the plenary session of the IPU-141 in Belgrade, Serbia, on October 15

Vietnamese Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly (NA) Tong Thi Phong proposed measures to promote respect for international law while addressing a plenum of the 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-141) on October 15.

The IPU-141, themed “Strengthening international law: Parliamentary roles and mechanisms, and the contribution of regional cooperation”, is taking place in Belgrade, Serbia, with the participation of 80 top legislators and heads of delegations and more than 1,700 parliamentarians from 150 member parliaments, along with representatives of international organisations.

In her speech, Phong noted complex security and political developments, racial and religious conflicts, non-traditional security risks, and increasing terrorism, extremism and insular nationalism around the world. She attributed the situation to the increase of unilateral actions that are not based on legal orders regulated in universal international conventions and violate the common principles of international law and the United Nations Charter, which are threatening peace that humankind has been striving to maintain.

The situation needs coordination at multiple levels, including the engagement of multilateral institutions and particularly the IPU, the Vice Chairwoman said.

She applauded the IPU-141’s theme, which highlights the IPU’s resolve and actions to enhance the role of international law – the principle to regulate international relations and the basis to boost global governance and equal cooperative ties among countries, regardless of how big or small they are.

The official emphasised that Vietnam persistently pursue a foreign policy of independence and self-reliance, and respects multilateralism, the rule of law and the common principles of international relations. It pays special attention to the maintenance of international order based on rules, common agreements and conventions among countries.

The country always adheres to regulations of universal international agreements such as the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and settles disputes by peaceful measures on the basis on international law, Phong said, adding that it has also taken part in many multilateral treaties within the framework of the UN and other international organisations.

Vietnam will serve as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021, ASEAN Chair in 2020 and Chair of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) for 2019-2020, she said.

Therefore, the country will continue helping to promote multilateralism and fair and equal dialogue, settle global issues and regional conflicts, and foster peace on the basis of international law, while enhancing regional cooperation in perfecting mechanisms for ensuring equitable and balanced interests for all relevant parties, the Vice Chairwoman noted.

Suggesting ways to boost respect for international law, she said respect for the UN Charter, as well as the compliance with international law and common principles and standards of conduct, must be reinforced at global, regional and national levels.

It is necessary to expand and bring into play the role of cooperation, dialogue and information sharing mechanisms to improve mutual understanding, trust and respect to seek peaceful solutions to regional disputes and urgent challenges, Phong said.

Parliaments should also step up the ratification and participation of international treaties and agreements and multilateral legal documents; align their countries’ laws with international treaties they have engaged in; and increase monitoring the implementation of important agreements reached through multilateral negotiations, she said.

Phong also called for parliamentary diplomacy to be supported and the IPU’s role to be further promoted for the sake of global peace and democracy.

Additionally, she underlined the need to strengthen the IPU’s cooperation mechanisms with its member parliaments, the UN and international organisations, with a focus on sustainable development, poverty reduction, nutrition, gender equality, youth participation, management and sustainable use of natural resources, and connectivity among countries and parliaments in making policies on climate change response.

Sharing the Vietnamese official’s view, other delegates at the IPU-141’s plenary session also highlighted the importance of international law while condemning the violations and disregard for it, saying those actions are harmful to peace, security and development cooperation.

They stressed the IPU’s tasks and role in supervising and maintaining international law, asking the union to form sustainable mechanisms and solutions to ensure strict adherence to international law, especially the UN Charter, the International Human Rights Conventions, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and the UNCLOS, because it is the only legal tool to resolve conflicts and disputes./.

NA Vice Chairwoman meets Lao counterpart on IPU-141 sidelines

Vietnamese NA Vice Chairwoman meets IPU leader, Cuban counterpart

The meeting between NA Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong and her Lao counterpart Bounpone Bouttanavong on the sidelines of the IPU-141 in Belgrade, Serbia, on October 14

Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly (NA) Tong Thi Phong held a meeting with her Lao counterpart Bounpone Bouttanavong on the sidelines of the 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-141) in Belgrade, Serbia, on October 14.

Voicing her delight at the stable development and reforms in Laos, Phong said Vietnam always treasures and wishes to bolster the two countries’ great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation in all aspects in an extensive, effective and substantive manner.

She also highlighted the flourishing friendship and cooperation between the Vietnamese and Lao parliaments.

The Vietnamese official asked both sides to work more closely with each other to share information and experience in lawmaking, supervise the two governments’ implementation of cooperation programmes approved by their Party and State leaders, and discuss the reform of their NAs’ apparatus and operations.

Regarding the Vietnam-assisted construction of the Lao NA’s headquarters, she hoped that the two sides will further coordinate to complete it on schedule.

Phong also thanked Laos for supporting Vietnam to successfully run for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2020 – 2021.

At the meeting, she noted Vietnam’s focus on the Mekong River’s water resources in the face of climate change, asking for Laos’ cooperation in the effective and sustainable use of the river’s resources.

On this occasion, she conveyed Vietnamese NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan’s invitation to Lao NA leaders to attend the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), scheduled to take place in Vietnam in August 2020.

For his part, the Lao NA Vice Chairman shared his counterpart’s view on the cooperation between the two countries and their parliaments, noting that bilateral relations have been increasingly tightened via mutual visits and meetings between their senior leaders.

He said the construction of the Lao NA’s headquarters is going ahead as planned and should be completed on schedule in 2020. He described the building as the pride of the Lao people, as well as of the relationship between the two parliaments and countries.

According to the Vice Chairman, Vietnam and Laos should coordinate closely and discuss an environmental cooperation project to help effectively use the Mekong River’s water resources and address climate change challenges.

Also on October 14, NA Vice Chairwoman Phong attended a plenary session of the IPU-141 and a banquet hosted by the Serbian parliament’s leaders./.

NA Vice Chairwoman busy with sidelines meetings at IPU-141

Vietnamese NA Vice Chairwoman meets IPU leader, Cuban counterpart
NA Permanent Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong (R) presents a gift to IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong at the meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, on October 13

NA Permanent Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong had separate meetings on October 13 with officials of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and Myanmar’s parliament on the sidelines of the 141st Assembly of the IPU (IPU-141) in Belgrade, Serbia.

In the meeting with Secretary General of the IPU Martin Chungong, the Vietnamese legislator praised his important role and contributions to the IPU, especially in reforming activities of the union’s Secretariat and enhancing cooperation between the IPU and the UN towards promoting the role and voice of parliaments and parliamentarians in international issues.

She stressed that as a responsible member of IPU and with its experience, Vietnam will participate in all conferences, topics and fields to contribute to the success of the IPU-141 Assembly.

The participation in IPU activities is an important task in the Vietnamese NA’s multilateral diplomacy activities to promote and protect Vietnam's interests, express the country’s views on issues of the world’s common interests, thus contributing to improving the position of Vietnam in general and its NA in particular in the international arena.

Through this forum, Vietnam can access experience and good practices of parliaments around the world, Phong said, adding that Vietnam hopes to continue receiving support of the IPU Secretary General in the process.

Vietnam is committed to implementing plans and action programmes for the sake of sustainable development, towards improving material and spiritual life of the people, Phong said.

For his part, Chungong said he always supports Vietnam because Vietnam is one of the countries that always show strong responsibility and commitment to IPU’s programmes and action plans.

He highlighted the fruitful cooperation between IPU and the Vietnamese NA, saying that the Hanoi Declaration adopted by the IPU-132 in Hanoi in 2015 themed “Sustainable Development Goals: Turning Words into Action” is one of the directions for implementing the IPU's action plans.

The IPU will continue to support and closely coordinate with Vietnam to effectively implement the union’s programmes and action plans in the coming time, he affirmed.

Meeting with Than Win, Chairperson of the International Relations Committee of the Myanmar Parliament, the Vietnamese NA vice chairwoman congratulated Myanmar on its socio-economic achievements in recent years. She affirmed that Vietnam always supports and believes that Myanmar will successfully carry out national reconciliation, thus bringing prosperous development to the country.

She also underlined the development of the ties between the two countries’ legislative bodies in recent times, including their close coordination at international and regional parliament forums, especially in the framework of the IPU and the ASEAN Inter Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA)

She proposed a cooperation channel between the groups of female parliamentarians of the two nations, and sharing of experience between the external relations committees of the two legislative bodies.

Phong said in 2020, Vietnam will assume the roles of a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the term 2020-2021, Chair of the ASEAN and Chair of the AIPA 41 for 2019-2020, and asked the Government and the parliament of Myanmar to support Vietnam to well fulfill these important roles.

She asked Myanmar to support the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law.

On this occasion, Phong conveyed Vietnamese NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan’s invitation to the Speaker of Myanmar Parliament to attend the AIPA 41 General Assembly which will be held in Vietnam in August 2020.

In his reply, Than Win hoped that Vietnam will continue to support Myanmar's process of national reconciliation.

Regarding measures to promote cooperation between the two countries’ parliaments, he promised to report to the leader of Myanmar Parliament to consider the establishment of a cooperation channel between the groups of female parliamentarians of the two nations and the two parliaments’ external relations committees./.VNA

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