Four meetings of the political, economic, social and organisation committees were held on the second working day of the 31st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-31) in Hanoi on Sept. 22.

The meeting of the Committee on Political Matters focused its discussions on three draft resolutions proposed by the Vietnamese delegation on promoting cooperation between AIPA-ASEAN, the regional and global security situation and enhancing solidarity and unification in diversification among ASEAN.

The delegates spoke highly of the Vietnamese delegation’s preparations and the contents of the draft resolutions.

They agreed to supplement the draft resolution on the regional and global security situation with a principle to encourage the settlement of difference among ASEAN nations, including differences in territory, through peaceful measures and bilateral or multilateral negotiations based on international law.

Regarding the draft resolution on enhancing solidarity and unification in diversification among ASEAN, the committee also agreed to add the principle of respecting immigrant workers’ rights based on the foundation of respecting resident country’s law and encouraging a bilateral dialogue mechanism for a number of issues of ASEAN parliamentarians’ concern.

The draft resolutions will be presented to the General Assembly of AIPA-31 for approval at the second plenary session.

At the meeting of the Committee on Economic Matters, the delegates discussed and agreed to present to the General Assembly three draft resolutions. They include a draft resolution on an AIPA symposium on parliamentarian’s role in the post-financial and economic crisis and sustainable development, a draft resolution ratifying the report of the second AIPA Caucus meeting and the other on promoting dialogue with the private sector.

The delegates agreed on the importance of the private sector and affirmed the necessity of increased dialogue between government and the economic sector to ensure transparency and consistence of policies.

They also urged the governments of AIPA members to pay attention to the establishment and application of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model to increase interaction between the government and private sector, not only through dialogue but also via actions.

Delegates at the Committee on Social Matters discussed and agreed with the contents of the draft resolutions relating to climate change, disaster management and disease prevention, human resource development and the disabled, and the approval of the report of the seventh meeting of AIPA Fact Finding Committee to Combat the Drug Menace (AIFOCOM) that were proposed by Vietnam.

They recommended governments of ASEAN members set up a common mechanism for information and resource sharing to prevent and control diseases.

They also recognised the contributions of disabled people, and encouraged AIPA members and member governments to share experience in developing policies and laws relating to those with disabilities.

Regarding the draft resolution on AIFOCOM-7, the delegates agreed to build a drug-free ASEAN community by 2015.

The Committee on Organisational Matters agreed to submit to the General Assembly the recognition of India as an observer.

AIPA-32, to be held next September, will be hosted by the Cambodian parliament./.