AIPA-42: Brunei highlights AIPA’s role in realising digital inclusion hinh anh 1Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah delivers a welcome speech at the event (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Member of the Legislative Council of Brunei Yang Dato Paduka Haji Sabtu underscored the instrumental role of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) in realising digital inclusion in his speech delivered at the 42nd General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-42) via a video conference on August 23.

Themed “Forging Parliamentary Cooperation in Digital Inclusion Towards ASEAN Community 2025”, the event was chaired by AIPA President and Speaker of the Legislative Council of Brunei Pehin Dato Abdul Rahman Taib.

He stressed that digital inclusion is a prime agenda across ASEAN member states that takes challenges in order to fulfill connectivity gaps in Internet access and affordability. In harmonising regulation and standardising the policies across ASEAN, AIPA can be a sounding board for ASEAN member states to align and assimilate strategies, policies, action plans, and roadmaps across all sectors while considering utilising digital technology as an effective enabling tool.

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint 2025 called for the establishment of a coherent and comprehensive framework for personal data protection. Therefore, it is a role of AIPA member parliaments to ensure cybersecurity in the region, in accordance with the domestic laws, policies and regulations of ASEAN member states.

The ASEAN Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2016 - 2025 must be supported to avoid negative impact on micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) that could further hinder the growth of ASEAN economy. Therefore, AIPA member parliaments should encourage regional states to prioritise connectivity, regional integration and narrowing the development gap among ASEAN member states in a coordinated approach to achieve the objectives of the fourth Industrial Revolution and closer sectoral integration, he said.

He added that it is important for AIPA member parliaments to collaborate and provide guidance within ASEAN in utilising available resources towards integrating digital technology for climate resilience and adaptation.

According to him, sustainable development on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls are highlighted in Women Parliamentarian Meeting to emphasise the use of enabling technology, particularly information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women. This is in line with the theme of Brunei Darussalam 2021 ASEAN Chairmanship “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper” to ensure the well-being and livelihood of the people./.