Lawmakers boost regional ties

Viet Nam will join regional countries to help raise the role of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) in the process of building a peaceful, stable, co-operative and prosperous ASEAN Community.

National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung made the statement at the first plenary session of the 32nd General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-32) in Phnom Penh yesterday.

He stressed that the Vietnamese National Assembly delegation agreed with the AIPA-32 theme "The role of AIPA in building a prosperous ASEAN Community", saying that ASEAN had seen remarkable changes towards a common community in 2015 as well as promoted dialogue, co-operation and connectivity for regional peace, stability and development.

Delegates to AIPA-32 pose for a group photo

Besides advantages, ASEAN was facing a lot of challenges, including the on-schedule completion of the road map to build the ASEAN Community and the effective settlement of emerging challenges, he said.

Hung said in this important period, AIPA should actively boost dialogue, strengthen trust and promote solidarity and consensus in solving disputes peacefully as well as speed up the effective implementation of co-operative mechanisms and tools in the region.

"AIPA should support ASEAN in expanding and deepening ties with its partners to create a favourable environment for building the community, boosting regional connectivity and narrowing the development gap," he said.

Hung also emphasised the necessity for close co-ordination between AIPA and ASEAN in consolidating and strengthening the central role of ASEAN in the evolving regional architecture for the common goal of peace, stability and development as well as in effectively dealing with arising challenges.

Hung congratulated Myanmar on its official membership to AIPA, which he said marked a strong and important development of AIPA with the participation of 10 ASEAN countries.

In his opening speech, Heng Samrin, president of the Cambodian National Assembly and President of AIPA, said Cambodia would try its best to turn the AIPA 32 General Assembly into a milestone of the AIPA process, creating favourable conditions for exchange of information and viewpoints and promoting integration.

He said that Cambodia wished to build the inter-parliamentary organisation of peace, to provide a mechanism for settlement of disputes in the region and strengthen trust among ASEAN nations.

Heng Samrin proposed to set up a supervision committee with representatives from ASEAN parliaments and have an AIPA parliamentary group for providing consultancy and conduct regular examinations of the implementation of AIPA agreements.

He expressed his belief that AIPA-32 would be an ideal opportunity for participating delegations to contribute initiatives towards effective co-operation to bring member countries closer in coping with common challenges.

Cambodian Senate President Chea Sim affirmed that AIPA-32 provided an opportunity to promote the role of the regional inter-parliamentary organisation in building a prosperous community. Through its agenda, ASEAN parliaments would discuss and work out measures to cope with problems of maintaining peace, stability and development in the region and the world.

Chea Sim expressed his wish that AIPA-32 would build a co-operative mechanism to prevent terrorism, transnational crime, drug crime and other violent actions.

AIPA-32 began on Sunday and will end on Saturday in Cambodia, with participation of the heads of all parliaments of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and observers from Australia, Canada, China, the European Parliament, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Russia and the United States.


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