AIPA 41: Promoting regional efforts to fight COVID-19 hinh anh 1Chairman of the Committee for Inter- Parliamentary Cooperation under the Indonesian House of Representatives Fadli Zon speaks to Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Indonesia. (Photo: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) - Even though the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) is held online, the event would be a great momentum for ASEAN Member of Parliaments to reaffirm their commitment and to accelerate the efforts for alleviating the adverse impact of the COVID-19 in the people’s livelihood, affirmed a senior official of the Indonesian House of Representatives. 

Chairman of the Committee for Inter- Parliamentary Cooperation under the Indonesian House of Representatives Fadli Zon made the remarks in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency’s reporters in Jakarta ahead of the AIPA 41, slated to take place from September 8-10.

He expressed his belief that AIPA could become the effective platform not only to promote awareness about the impacts of COVID-19 outbreak, but also to generate such joint-efforts and actions on seizing the opportunities and responding effectively to the challenges that regional countries all face nowadays.

“As the world today is facing serious global crises of COVID-19 where the pandemic does not know borders – spreading around the world in the same way and affecting people in the same way – it is indeed a stark reminder for our commitment to multilateralism which at the same time becomes an opportunity to strengthen our collective responsibility with a coordinated response, in line with the spirit of a cohesive and responsive ASEAN to achieve a community that is united, peaceful, integrated, and resilient. Our responses will determine how fast the world recovers, and how well we handle this challenge,” Fadli said.

According to him, the spirit of mutual cooperation has been central to Indonesia’s efforts in curbing the pandemic. Many people have participated in delivering such humanitarian aids, including money, foods, and other forms of help. He noted his belief that this effort could be amplified at the regional level by the enhanced cooperation and collaboration among AIPA member of parliaments in fighting COVID-19 pandemic.

The Indonesian lawmaker affirmed that the House of Representatives of Indonesia fully appreciates the National Assembly of Vietnam chairmanship of AIPA and as the host of the 41st AIPA General Assembly this year.

“Under Vietnam’s leadership, we are confident that AIPA will be able to move forward in the effort to realize a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN,” he said, adding that the Indonesian House is also assured that the positive outcome documents in this year’s General Assembly reflect common interest of AIPA Member Parliaments that is based on the spirit of ASEAN Centrality, regional security and humanity.

He went on to say that the 41st General Assembly with Vietnam’s chairmanship symbolizes the strong will of AIPA Member Parliaments in encouraging and supporting ASEAN Member States governments to deliver adequate policy in enhancing regional cooperation to curb the spread of COVID-19, to address its adverse impact, and to cope with other regional challenges.

Regarding the cooperation between the Indonesian House of Representatives and the National Assembly of Vietnam, Fadli noted that the two countries will be celebrating the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations on December, this year. Since the era of President Soekarno and President Ho Chi Minh, Indonesia and Vietnam remain both friends and strategic partners, he said, stressing that the relations between both countries will continue to evolve for more decades to come.

He said the two countries should work to maximize the bilateral Plan of Action on the Implementation of Strategic Partnership 2019 – 2023, which marks the new phase of cooperation as guidance in strengthening bilateral ties, through the engagement of all stakeholders especially parliaments, through parliamentary cooperation.

According to him, the parliamentary cooperation should be a strategic partner in support of Indonesia-Vietnam’s bilateral relation. With regards to that aim, the House of Representatives of Indonesia together with the National Assembly of Vietnam has established the bilateral friendship group and multilaterally, the two parliaments have supported each other in parliamentary forums such as AIPA, APA, IPU as well as other relevant forums.

He concluded that through this year’s AIPA General Assembly, Indonesia and Vietnam would voice common concerns over the need to safeguard peace, stability and security based on humanity in the region while enhancing cooperation to curb the spread of COVID-19 and its diverse impact to the people of ASEAN./.