New vision for ASEAN’s parliamentary diplomacy

(VOVWORLD) - The 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA 41) hosted by Vietnam wrapped up last week. Documents adopted at the meeting reflect a new vision of parliamentary diplomacy as the 10 ASEAN members build an ASEAN Community for peace, stability, and prosperity.
New vision for ASEAN’s parliamentary diplomacy - ảnh 1 Vietnamese National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan addresses the closing of AIPA 41 (Photo: Duong Giang/VNA)

AIPA 41 marked an important step toward AIPA’s realization of its goal of promoting solidarity, understanding, cooperation and close relations between the ASEAN Parliaments as their governments build an ASEAN Community. Resolutions adopted at the meeting voice the parliaments’ determination to work with the governments to address problems in the region.

Consensus in addressing common issues

AIPA 41 took place with countries in Southeast Asia and around the world facing a serious economic and health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns and border closures have smothered economic activity in the region.

The General Assembly, therefore, focused on promoting ASEAN’s cohesion, response, and post-COVID-19 economic recovery. AIPA showed a determination to harmonize economic and trade policies, restore tourism activities, and promote signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) by the end of the year.

New vision for ASEAN’s parliamentary diplomacy - ảnh 2 (Photo:

Vice Chairman of Vietnam’s National Assembly Phung Quoc Hien said: "Economic cooperation within AIPA is one of the key factors affecting other regional cooperation. The ASEAN Community aims to create a common market and unified manufacturing area with free movement of commodities, services, investment, capital, and skilled workers in order to increase the efficiency and competitiveness, promote investment, and create prosperity for the entire region. The theme of AIPA 41 -  “Parliament’s role in promoting ASEAN’s cohesiveness and economic recovery in post-COVID-19” - is a prompt to all countries in the region."

AIPA 41 demonstrated ASEAN’s responsiveness by adopting initiatives promoting anti-drug cooperation, supporting gender equality, improving health care, and increasing women’s engagement in all aspects of life.

One of the highlights of the meeting was launching an annual AIPA Young Parliamentarians Meeting.

Combined strength

As Chair of ASEAN and AIPA, Vietnam has worked to combine the strengths of the two organizations and create a shared approach and shared goal. AIPA 41 showed strong support for ASEAN’s initiatives. Delegates reached a consensus on AIPA and ASEAN priorities and response to COVID-19. They agreed that peace, security, and safety in the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea) need to be based on international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and agreed on the need to soon finalize the Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Vietnam’s National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, the AIPA 41 Chairwoman, said: "Together we are overcoming difficulties to discuss core, comprehensive issues of ASEAN and AIPA. The documents that we have adopted are a valuable foundation for a new vision of regional parliamentary diplomacy. AIPA 41 is an important step toward helping governments build a community for peace, stability, and prosperity."