Jakarta (VNA) – Speaker of the House of Representatives of Indonesia Puan Maharani has said she fully appreciates Vietnam's effort in hosting the first-ever virtual 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41) amid COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview recently granted to Vietnam News Agency following the closing of AIPA-41, Maharani said overall, the event went well, and parliament members had fruitful discussions.

However, Political Committee in the AIPA-41 did not reach a consensus on specific matters. Therefore, no resolution has been adopted.

“Nevertheless, the fact that overall the AIPA General Assembly went very well despite being conducted online, is an accomplishment on its own. In the past, many might think that this kind of level of international event would not be done online. However, today AIPA has proven that we can adapt with development and that AIPA is well prepared for the future”, she said.

Through online means, she said, AIPA member parliaments were able to discuss ideas, propose solutions and exchange the best practices and ideas to continue their important role in this challenging time.

Parliamentarians gained useful insights to help the implementation of checks and balances, especially at a time of crisis, during which the government is making unprecedented decisions at speed and implementing policies that would have been unthinkable before. Therefore, parliament remains a relevant pillar of democracy in this challenging time.

About initiative and message conveyed by the House of Representatives of Indonesia at the meeting, she said responses in this time of pandemic will determine how fast the world recovers, and how well the challenge is handled.

Under the spirit of “Gotong Royong” or mutual assistance, the Indonesian House of Representatives believed that all can make it through this crisis, as long as shared commitment to strengthen solidarity and enhance cooperation and mutual support among ASEAN member states is maintained.

Commenting on Vietnam’s role and efforts as the AIPA Chair this year to promote the spirit of a cohesive and responsive ASEAN, she said this year’s AIPA General Assembly was held under the unprecedented times during COVID-19 outbreak. This pandemic has not only become a test for regional collective response but also unveiled opportunities to strengthen regional cooperation under the spirit of ASEAN centrality in efforts to tackle COVID-19 and its overarching impacts in people's lives.

Speaking highly of the Vietnamese legislature’s effort to hold the event despite challenges caused by the pandemic, she hoped that the General Assembly could become an effective platform for AIPA member parliaments to exchange the best practices, build political will, strengthen capacity, and foster collaboration among parliaments and parliamentarians on curbing the pandemic as well as to find the best solutions to other important regional issues./.