According to Chairwoman of the National Assembly (NA) Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, the success of AIPA Year and AIPA 41 will contribute pragmatically to advancing the AIPA-ASEAN partnership and enhancing coordination in action between the legislative and executive channels, thus pushing ahead with the building of an ASEAN Community of peace, stability, safety, prosperity, and happiness.


In an article published prior to AIPA 41, slated for September 8-9, Ngan highlighted the significance of the year 2020, with Vietnam simultaneously serving as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), the ASEAN Chair, and the AIPA Chair.

“This allows Vietnam to continue affirming its role, position, and prestige in the international arena,” she said. It also requires the country to make more contributions to maintaining peace, stability, and sustainable development in the region and the world at large.

Themed “Parliamentary Diplomacy for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community,” AIPA 41 will be held as a teleconference for the first time.

AIPA 41 and activities in the AIPA Year have demonstrated the Vietnamese legislature’s responsibility and practical contributions to AIPA, while helping to strengthen solidarity and lead joint efforts so that AIPA can assist ASEAN in building the ASEAN Community, Ngan emphasised.

Central tasks now lie in overcoming the adverse impact of COVID-19, maintaining economic development, and ensuring social welfare for all, she said.

Recalling the 43-year history of AIPA, Ngan said it has become an open and useful forum where regional parliaments and parliamentarians can exchange views and candidly discuss issues of shared concern.

The enhanced mutual understanding, respect, and trust have helped build a firm foundation for regional cooperation, she continued.

AIPA attaches great importance to intensifying its collaboration with partners outside the ASEAN, she went on, saying that since 1979, the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organisation (AIPO - the predecessor of AIPA) has established dialogue mechanisms with the parliaments of Australia, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (RoK).

AIPA has now set up annual dialogue mechanisms with 12 observer member parliaments from Australia, Belarus, Canada, China, the EU, India, Japan, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, the RoK, Russia, and Timor-Leste.

Regarding Vietnam’s AIPA membership over the last 25 years, Ngan said the country has proven itself to be an active, proactive, and responsible member, adding that it has fully participated in activities within AIPA while contributing many result-oriented ideas and initiatives in order to revamp the organisation and the operations and agenda of AIPO/AIPA, and promoting the role of AIPO/AIPA as well as its connectivity with ASEAN in addressing regional issues.

In security and politics, the Vietnamese legislature has upheld the significance of solidarity among regional countries and affirmed the key principles in building the ASEAN Community for peace, stability, and prosperity on the basis of solidarity, unity, observance of international law, and respect for the legitimate interests of each other, in harmony with the grouping’s interests.

In the economic arena, Vietnam has called on AIPA member parliaments to increase domestic legal reviews in an effort to remove trade and investment barriers and ensure transparent and effective mechanisms, for a dynamic and integrated ASEAN.

As for social affairs, Ngan said, Vietnam has contributed to and co-sponsored resolutions on gender equality, women’s empowerment, and support for people with disabilities, for sustainable environment in AIPA.

The country has also proposed many initiatives to promote the role of women in general and female parliamentarians in particular.

Notably, the NA has been one of the most active members in boosting the AIPA-ASEAN relationship, with marked initiatives.

Ngan said AIPA 41 takes place in the context of ASEAN working hard towards the goal of cohesion and to affirm its centrality in maintaining peace, stability, and development in Southeast Asia.

ASEAN countries are also making efforts to contain the pandemic and materialise policy packages in order to enhance post-pandemic economic recovery, maintain commitments to opening trade and investment, connect supply chains, ensure food security, prevent economic downturn, and ensure social welfare.

At the same time, countries are grappling with a host of difficulties and challenges, including the adverse impact of COVID-19, Ngan said, pointing to the rapid and unexpected changes in the global situation, and policy adjustments and relations among powers tending to influence peace, security, cooperation, and development in the region.

Hot spots such as the East Sea and new political developments in certain countries will also impact ASEAN’s centrality in maintaining peace and stability in the region, she added.

Given this, Vietnam, in its capacity as the AIPA Chair, will do its best to ensure the success of the activities in AIPA Year and AIPA 41, Ngan pledged.

Source: VNA