AIPA, ASEAN want stronger relations at all cooperation levels hinh anh 1The meeting between AIPA representatives and ASEAN leaders on Apirl 29 (Photo: VNA) 

Manila (VNA) – The ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) pledges to continue fostering its relations with ASEAN at all levels of cooperation, according to an AIPA message sent to the ASEAN leaders at a meeting in Manila on April 29.

Delivering the message, AIPA President and Speaker of the Philippines’ House of Representatives Pantaleon D. Alvarez affirmed that the assembly supports the achievement of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 through harmonising the laws in the member states and building common standards through issuing domestic laws that are in line with ASEAN’s agreements and commitments.

AIPA reiterated its support for the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint, the enhancement of ASEAN’s central role and unanimity in the region’s evolving architecture and in commitments with dialogue partners.

The message also reviewed the joint statement of the ASEAN and Chinese foreign ministers at the ASEAN Foreign Minister’s Meeting held in Vientiane, Laos, in July 2016. This statement repeated the commitment of all parties concerned to fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and the freedom of navigation inside and outside of the East Sea.

AIPA stressed the need to keep peace, prosperity and cooperation in the East Sea, to resolve territorial disputes by peaceful means, and to exercise self-restraint in conformity with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

AIPA called on ASEAN to ensure the implementation of commitments and finalise a framework for a Code of Conduct in the East Sea in mid-2017.

In its message, the regional assembly highly valued the progress of the ASEAN Economic Community, which is transforming the region into a more open market. It asked ASEAN to step up market integration and encourage the private sector’s engagement and contributions so as to ensure the financial demand for infrastructure development under the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025.

AIPA and ASEAN should cooperate to promote entrepreneurship and human resources development, thus helping micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises gradually integrate into the ASEAN Economic Community.

AIPA noted the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint focuses on building a people-oriented, people-centred and socially responsible ASEAN Community. Therefore, human resources development policies need to be enhanced to promote people’s access to skills and life-long learning, bring people to the centre of community building activities, and involve them in regional integration efforts.

AIPA also asked the ASEAN countries to actively carry out the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to strengthen ties to ensure water resources security for the sake of people and sustainable development in the region.

At the ASEAN and AIPA leaders’ meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc underlined that AIPA plays an indispensable role in the regional connectivity and the ASEAN Community building process.

He said ASEAN and AIPA should increase communication to align each country’s laws and legal procedures with ASEAN’s common standards. He also asked the assembly to help accelerate the ratification of ASEAN’s legal documents and agreements.

National Assembly Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien led the Vietnamese delegation to join other representatives of AIPA’s member parliaments at the meeting.

An AIPA-ASEAN meeting became an annual event held during an ASEAN summit since 2009 as part of effort to promote the connection between the legislative and executive bodies.-VNA