Vietnamese NA to hold AIPA-41 online from September 8-10
The Vietnamese National Assembly will hold the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41) themed “Parliamentary diplomacy for a cohesive and responsive ASEAN Community”
via a video conference from September 8-10, said the organising board at a press conference on September 4.
Vice Chairman of the NA’s Committee for External Relations Nguyen Manh Tien at the event (Photo: VNA)
Vice Chairman of the NA’s Committee for External Relations and head of the AIPA 41 information sub-committee Nguyen Manh Tien said it will be the third time the Vietnamese legislature assumes the role of AIPA Chair and holds the assembly.
Tien described the AIPA-41 as an important highlight in external activities of the 14th NA, contributing to highlighting Vietnam's State and parliamentary diplomacy achievements.
About the meeting’s agenda, he said participants are expected to approve several documents electronically, including the AIPA-41’s activities and agenda, the list of guests, host of AIPA 42, time and venue.
As AIPA Chair 2020 and Chair of the AIPA-41, Vietnamese NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan will chair and deliver opening and closing speeches, and present AIPA chairmanship 2021 and AIPA-41 General Assembly Chairmanship to the next host.
In particular, the General Assembly will adopt draft resolutions of committees, establish the conference of AIPA young parliamentarians, admit AIPA’s new observers, present awards of dedication to AIPA, and sign a joint statement via the form of announcement.
Chairman of the NA’s Committee for External Relations and deputy head of the organising committee's standing board Nguyen Van Giau said the conference of AIPA young parliamentarians will take the theme “AIPA young parliamentarians build ASEAN Community”.
About the admission of AIPA’s new observers, Giau said the organising committee has received four dossiers from Norway, Morocco, Pakistan and Georgia and will hold an admission ceremony at the second plenary session and the closing ceremony.
As regards the conference of AIPA female parliamentarians, Giau said Chairwoman of the NA’s Committee for Social Affairs Nguyen Thuy Anh will chair the event, which will discuss female parliamentarians’ role in ensuring jobs and income for female workers.
Members of the organising committee also answered reporters’ questions about the significance and contributions of AIPA to Vietnam’s socio-economic development, the region and the world, advantages and disadvantages in holding AIPA-41 online, among others.
Vietnam actively preparing for AIPA 41
As President of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) hopes to leave a good impression on international friends, contributing to raising its standing as well as creating cohesion and coordination with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Permanent NA Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong has said.
Speaking at a meeting of the Vietnamese NA delegation attending the 41st AIPA General Assembly (AIPA 41) on September 4 in Hanoi, Phong emphasised that amid the complex developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NA has strongly expressed its determination to assume its responsibilities as President of AIPA 41.
AIPA member countries have so far agreed with the agenda for AIPA 41, themed “Parliamentary diplomacy for a cohesive and proactive ASEAN Community”, she said.
Some 30 delegations with 380 delegates, including 230 lawmakers, have registered to attend the online event, she added.
The Vietnamese delegation has adopted the motto “Actively contributing to the AIPA agenda, promoting solidarity, and leading joint efforts to support ASEAN during its Community building process, in particular effectively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The delegation needs to skilfully apply the principles, processes, and operational models of ASEAN-AIPA during the event.
Reporting on Vietnam’s preparations for AIPA 41, Chairman of the NA Committee for External Relations and deputy head of the standing board of the AIPA 41 Organising Committee Nguyen Van Giau said the Ministry of Information and Communications has launched an AIPA41 website, mobile app, and identifier.
A press conference on the scheduling and content of AIPA 41 is slated for the afternoon of September 4, he said, adding that reception and logistics work for the online event have been carried out on schedule.
AIPA 41 will consist of an opening ceremony, a closing ceremony, and the two plenary sessions, meetings of political, economic and social committees, an AIPA women parliamentarians meeting, and an unofficial meeting of young AIPA parliamentarians.
AIPA 41: Parliaments, governments join hands to fight pandemic
The timely response to COVID-19 by the parliaments of ASEAN member countries has played a significant role in accelerating goals and programmes for regional sustainable development in the future.
Chairwoman of Vietnam’s National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, who is also Chair of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA 41), sent a letter in March to chairpersons of AIPA member parliaments calling for joint efforts in protecting ASEAN from the pandemic.
She highlighted solidarity, sharing, and mutual support within the bloc in the face of the coronavirus.
Each AIPA member parliament should join hands with governments in the fight by promoting their role and approving relevant measures and policies proposed by governments, Ngan said.
Vietnam’s NA, together with the support of other AIPA member parliaments, will make every effort to ensure the success of the 2020 AIPA Year, for peace, safety, and happiness of the people and the sustainable development and prosperity of all ASEAN countries and the world, she pledged.
In that spirit, at the ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with Representatives of AIPA within the 36th ASEAN Summit in June, Ngan lauded ASEAN’s joint efforts in coping with the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19.
She backed the implementation of ASEAN initiatives and support to governments in rolling out solutions to bring the pandemic under control.
In the short term, ASEAN should focus resources on improving economic recovery post-COVID-19, maintain commitments made to opening up trade and investment and connecting supply chains, ensure food security and access to medicines and medical supplies at reasonable prices, and assist people and businesses affected by the pandemic, she suggested.
In culture-society, AIPA encourages the timely issuance of policies on education, unemployment, and public health improvements, including the public’s capacity to access vaccines and essential goods, Ngan stressed.
At a meeting on the role of parliaments in international cooperation against COVID-19 in April, Chairman of the Vietnamese NA Committee for External Relations Nguyen Van Giau called on AIPA member parliaments to take a more active role and accompany governments in the pandemic fight through the issuance of relevant polices and measures.
At the 11th AIPA Caucus on August 14, Vietnam urged AIPA member parliaments to continue review and perfect legal frameworks to facilitate trade and ensure the distribution of goods and the smooth operation of regional supply chains.
Member parliaments have committed to accelerating the ratification of regional trade agreements and prioritising efforts to complete negotiations and sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.
The countries have also stepped up parliamentary supervision over the implementation of investment and trade commitments, both regionally and internationally, considering this a major tool in promoting economic connectivity within the ASEAN Economic Community and between ASEAN and its partners.
They also focused on infrastructure development, digital connectivity, digital data safety, and digital knowledge and skills, while making the best use of Industry 4.0 to overcome the consequences of economic closures and social distancing amid COVID-19.
At the same time, AIPA member parliaments have intensified regional infrastructure and transport connectivity and cooperation in the Mekong Sub-region and other sub-regions in ASEAN, especially in environmental protection, the development of smart agriculture, and the sustainable use of cross-border natural resources, so as to ensure food, water, and energy security in sub-regions during and post-COVID-19.
Given the adverse impact of COVID-19 in many countries and around the world, coordination between governments and parliaments will contribute to fighting the pandemic and ensuring social welfare, for the peace, safety, and happiness of the people and the sustainable development and prosperity of ASEAN member countries and also the world.
NA Vice Chairwoman meets diplomats of ASEAN countries, AIPA observers
Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly (NA) Tong Thi Phong chaired a meeting with ambassadors and heads of the diplomatic missions of ASEAN member states, together with observers and guests of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), on the cusp of the 41st AIPA General Assembly (AIPA 41).
Phong, who is head of the AIPA 41 organising board, took the occasion to thank ambassadors and heads of the diplomatic missions in Hanoi for supporting the Vietnamese NA’s offices in carrying out activities in Vietnam’s 2020 AIPA Chairmanship Year, especially AIPA 41, which is scheduled to be held from September 8-10 via video conference.
She affirmed that as AIPA 41 is the most important event in the 2020 AIPA Chairmanship Year, Vietnam began preparations in 2019, as soon as it took over the AIPA Chair from the Thai National Assembly.
Phong said that AIPA member parliaments agree with the AIPA 41 theme of “Parliamentary diplomacy for a cohesive and responsive ASEAN Community”.
She expressed her hope of continuing to receive close and effective coordination from participants in organising the 41st AIPA General Assembly.
Participants affirmed their participation in AIPA 41 activities and will contribute to the General Assembly’s success, thus helping to boost friendship and solidarity between ASEAN member states for prosperity and development in the region.
This is the third time Vietnam has hosted an AIPA General Assembly and held the Chairmanship of the AIPA since the country joined the organisation in 1995.
National Assembly contributing to AIPA’s development
Vietnam’s National Assembly (NA) has contributed actively and proactively to the development of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) over the last 25 years.
The country’s legislature became an official member of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organisation (AIPO) - the predecessor of AIPA - on September 19, 1995, at the 16th AIPO General Assembly in Singapore.
At the first AIPO general assembly that it attended as an official member, the Vietnamese NA made active contributions to the assembly’s activities. In his remarks at the opening session of the event, NA Chairman Nong Duc Manh stressed that the NA joining AIPO after the country became a member of ASEAN was of great significance, marking a significant change in Southeast Asia for the independence and prosperity of each nation in the region.
Since then, in every difficult time the region has faced, the legislative body has taken timely action, together with parliaments of other member states, to deal with arising problems.
In 1998 - a year after the Asian financial crisis rocked Asia - Vietnam proposed organising an AIPO conference on the role of legislative bodies in dealing with the crisis, which was held a year later.
In 2002, Vietnam hosted the AIPO General Assembly for the first time. With its role as AIPO Chair in the 2001-2002 tenure, the country’s legislature successfully organised the 23rd General Assembly in Hanoi, contributing in a practical manner to the organisation’s development.
Among 33 resolutions approved at the meeting, 20 were initiated by Vietnam, and those ideas remain valuable today.
Vietnam again successfully organised the 31st AIPA General Assembly from September 20-24, 2010, in Hanoi, fulfilling its responsibility as AIPA Chair in the 2009-2010 tenure, expressing the country’s efforts to integrate into the region.
The Vietnamese legislature has made a great many proposals at AIPA general assemblies over the last 25 years and participated in AIPA activities. Such contributions helped consolidate Vietnam’s friendship and multifaceted cooperation with ASEAN member states and affirmed the legislative body’s position and role in the region and the world.
Former deputy head of the NA Committee for External Relations Ngo Anh Dung said that since becoming a member, the NA has fully taken part in AIPO activities and made suggestions to help the organisation operate more effectively and substantially.
In the political realm, Vietnam’s initiatives mainly focus on improving the organisation’s role, intensifying intra-bloc collaboration, and building the ASEAN Community.
In the economic field, the country’s initiatives emphasise the urgent need for economic connectivity in the region as well as the role of parliaments in coping with economic crises and boosting sustainable development.
In terms of social affairs and gender equality, the NA has proposed many initiatives, especially on promoting the role of women in general and female parliamentarians in particular. Of special note, the first AIPO Women Parliamentarians’ Meeting was held at the 19th AIPO General Assembly in 1998, following initiatives by Vietnam and Malaysia.
Vietnam has made other contributions in terms of organisational matters of AIPO and AIPA, such as granting insignias to those making major contributions to the organisation’s development, and intensifying links between the organisation and ASEAN.
In 2007, to connect Government heads and top legislators of ASEAN countries, Vietnam proposed a dialogue between ASEAN and AIPA leaders.
When hosting the AIPA General Assembly for the second time in 2010, the country organised the first dialogue. Since then, the high-level dialogue has been held within the framework of ASEAN Year and AIPA Year.
This year, as the 41st AIPA Chair, the NA has taken the initiative in cooperating with member parliaments to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Governments in seeking measures to promote post-COVID-19 economic recovery, contributing to consolidating cooperation and solidarity in ASEAN in a spirit of “Parliamentary diplomacy for a cohesive and responsive ASEAN Community”./.VNA