IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong (L) and Vietnamese National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and Vietnam share a long-standing, sound relations based on mutual trust and respect, stated IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong.

He made the statement in an interview with Vietnam News Agency at the outset of the 138th IPU Assembly (IPU-138) and related meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, from March 24-25.

Chungong said the sides have worked together efficiently to promote inter-parliamentary partnership and highlighted his hope for future growth of the cooperation.

He noted that Vietnam is now taking the lead in inter-parliamentary collaboration, as reflected through a series of major IPU events hosted by the country in recent years, particularly the 132th IPU Assembly (IPU-132) in Hanoi in 2015.

He added the IPU was pleased with the Hanoi Declaration passed at the IPU-132 on the “Sustainable Development Goals: Turning Words into Action”, saying the declaration was the starting point of current IPU’s actions in contribution to the realisation of the SDGs.

The Secretary General also mentioned Ho Chi Minh City’s hosting of an IPU regional seminar in the Asia-Pacific Region on climate change in May in 2017. The seminar enabled participants to discuss opportunities and challenges in responding to climate change and to learn from Vietnam’s experience in the matter.

Chungong said the IPU backs Vietnam’s leading role in inter-parliamentary activities.

He talked about IPU’s support programmes for the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA), including building a legal framework data since the 1990s, fighting HIV/AIDS, raising parliamentarians’ and public awareness on SDGs, and increasing the NA’s capacity in meeting SDGs.

The programmes also proved continuous efforts made by the Vietnamese NA to improve its apparatus, Chugong affirmed.

Established in 1889 in Paris, France, the IPU comprises of 178 members and 12 associate members. The union’s duty is to work with parliaments to safeguard peace and drive positive democratic change through political dialogue and concrete action.

It aims to enhance exchanges and experience sharing between parliaments and contribute to protecting human rights worldwide.

Since Vietnam joined the IPU in April 1979, its active participation has been acknowledged by other members. Over the years, relations between the Vietnamese National Assembly and other parliaments have been strengthened.

In October 2007 at the 117th IPU Assembly also in Geneva, Switzerland, Vietnam’s NA was elected to the IPU Executive Committee - the forum’s highest body - for the first time.

The IPU-138 is expected to be participated by 700 parliamentarians and 65 leaders of legislative bodies across the globe. The Vietnamese delegation to the meeting is headed by National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.-VNA