Since its accession to the Inter-Parliament Union (IPU) from the 1970s, Vietnam has made vigorous contributions to the IPU’s activities, making great efforts to boost its relations with the member parliaments in the world, IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong told the Vietnam News Agency on the threshold of the IPU-132 Assembly which opens in Hanoi on March 28.

Reporter: In your capacity as the IPU Secretary General, could you say something about the IPU’s role in the situation when the world has to face a lot of challenges of global character?

IPU Secretary General: The Inter-Parliament Union is a political organisation that brings together all the member parliaments of the sovereign States. Set up in 1889, the IPU is the centre for the parliamentary dialogue and diplomacy among the law makers representing all the political systems at national and international level and is the place where politicians meet, exchange ideas, discuss and learn from each other so as to be able to work better and more effectively day by day. The IPU has helped enhance the technical cooperation among the parliaments, support the training of parliamentarians to have the knowledge and practical work at the parliament, help develop all the activities relating to the parliament, especially in the developing countries so as to improve the organisation of work, enhance infrastructure, and support the holding of election of parliamentarians.

The IPU has made efforts to enhance the capacity of the parliament in the protection of human rights as well as protecting the rights of parliamentarians; boosting gender equality, encourage the participation of women in the parliament and the political issues. In the situation when the world is facing a lot of global issues, the IPU has the close cooperation with other international organisations, especially the trend of having the ever closer cooperation with the UN. The two global organisations have together shared the common goal of boosting peace, democracy, cooperation and development and ensuring human rights. With its important role in the life of the international parliament, the IPU has made a lot of contributions to the UN’s work and common process in a series of issues such as climate change, the process of implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and building the post-2015 development agenda, the HIV-AIDS-related issues and the efforts in the fight against Ebola epidemics in Africa.

Even though it is possible to make only the recommendations, not the rules of compulsory character for implementation, the IPU has mobilised the contributions of the member parliaments so as to have the suggested solutions to the global challenges through exchanges and withdrawal of experience, whence the proposals for action can be made, from the practical activities in the parliament at national level to the creation of impact that will lead to the commitment at international level.

Reporter: How do you assess Vietnam’s contributions to the IPU’s activities in recent years and the preparatory work of the Vietnamese National Assembly for the IPU-132 Assembly in Hanoi?

IPU Secretary General: Since its accession to the IPU in the 1970s, it can be affirmed that Vietnam has made vigorous contributions to the IPU’s activities, making efforts to boost the relations with the member parliaments in the world. Vietnam has lot of times held the important leading positions in the IPU, in the IPU Executive Committee – the leading agency of the IPU – as well as being elected Vice-President of the IPU.

The National Assembly of Vietnam has once assumed the position of Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Geopolitical Group and the ASEAN+3 Group within the framework of the IPU General Assembly. Vietnam has manifested its activeness and a responsible member in all the activities for the IPU’s goals such as boosting peace and development in the world, enhancing the role and rights of women and children.

Thanks to its contributions to the IPU’s activities, the National Assembly of Vietnam has earned the understanding as well as the support of the international community. That Vietnam is to host the meeting of the 132nd IPU General Assembly will help create an important forum for the member parliaments to exchange the post-2015 development strategy to which the whole world is paying attention as well as helping raise the voice of the group of Asian States in the Inter-Parliament Union.

Even though I have not worked directly with the 132nd IPU Organising Board, via the assessments of my colleagues in charge of coordinating with Vietnam, I can see the confidence in the careful and detailed preparation of the host country of Vietnam concerning not only the logistics, but the content and subjects for discussions as well.-VNA