NA Vice Chairwoman meets IPU leader, Cuban counterpart hinh anh 1Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly Tong Thi Phong (second, left) and the Vietnamese delegation at the 141st IPU Assembly (Photo: VNA)

Belgrade (VNA) – Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly (NA) Tong Thi Phong had separate meetings with President of the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) Gabriela Cuevas Barron and Vice President of the Cuban National Assembly Ana Maria Mari Machado on October 15 on the sidelines of the 141st IPU Assembly.

At the meeting with IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron, Phong congratulated the IPU on the union’s 130th anniversary, which shows the strong vitality of multilateralism and the development of parliamentary diplomacy, contributing to maintaining peace, stability and promoting dialogue and cooperation for the future of humankind.

Joining the IPU in 1979, the Vietnamese NA has actively engaged in the organisation’s activities, she said, lauding the IPU cooperation and support for the country in realizing its sustainable development goals over the past two years.

Currently, Vietnam has implemented its commitments to the IPU and the United Nations regarding ensuring sustainable development and improving people’s material and spiritual lives by issuing new legislation, including the Labour Code, the Law on Youth, the Law on the Elderly, and the Law on Alcohol and Tobacco Harm Prevention, she noted.

The Vietnamese officialasked the IPU President to continue supporting Vietnam in fulfilling its commitments. On the occasion, she invited the IPU leader to visit Vietnam and attend an international conference on nutrition and health care with a focus on ethnic groups in 2020.

For her part, IPU President Barron spoke highly of the role Vietnam plays as an active and responsible IPU member, especially in implementing commitments and action programmes set out by the union.

Noting that in the Asia-Pacific region, the results of implementing a number of sustainable development goals have remained modest, she suggestedVietnam share its experience with regional countries in the field.

She also expressed her hope that with Vietnam’s experience and performanceas well as the dynamic development of the region, Asian countries and Vietnam will succeed in completing all of their targets.

At the meeting with Vice President of the Cuban National Assembly Ana Maria Mari Machado, Phong showed her delight at the growth of the special traditional friendship between Vietnam and Cuba, especially after the visit of Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong in March 2018 and the return visit by Chairman of the Cuban State Council and the Council of Ministers Miguel Diaz-Canel in November 2018.

Leaders of both sides have agreed to strengthen cooperation and experience sharing, which is also the orientations for collaboration between the two NAs, she said, showing her pleasure at the progress in the legislative bodies’ partnership, especially in sharing experience and setting up friendship parliamentarian groups.

She proposed that the two sides increase delegation exchange to share experience in legislative and supervision activities as well as the strengthening of the NA’s role in the political system, parliamentary diplomacy and cooperation at multilateral international parliamentary forums.

Phong thanked Cuba for supporting Vietnam to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure. Recognising difficulties and challenges facing Cuba currently, she affirmed that Vietnam supports Cuba’s just stance in fighting for embargo lifting.

For her part, Ana Maria Mari Machado said that Cuba hopes to learn from the Vietnamese NA’s experience in law building and supervision.

She proposed that the two sides work closely to hold a conference between Vietnamese and Cuban NA leaders in 2020. She also expressed hope that Vietnam will continue supporting Cuba’s standpoint in removing embargoes./.