Philippine House Speaker highlights AIPA-ASEAN unity hinh anh 1At the first plenary session of the ongoing 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41) (Photo: VNA) 

Hanoi (VNA) – Philippine House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has stressed that unity and neighbourly cooperation are the flagship and main objectives of AIPA and ASEAN.

He made the remarks while addressing the first plenary session of the ongoing 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41), which, he said, is among the most memorable of General Assemblies since the birth of AIPA in Manila on September 2, 1977.

AIPA 41 is historic not only for the reason of its virtual setting, but because it is held amidst extraordinarily challenging circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

He congratulated the National Assembly of Vietnam and its AIPA National Secretariat for surmounting the current difficulties caused by the pandemic to conduct the meeting.

Alan Peter said this is an opportunity for AIPA parliaments to share experiences, learnings, difficulties, innovative measures and best practices, making them better equipped in battling against COVID-19.

Through the years, AIPA member parliaments have realised the culture of unity and cooperation by passing legislative measures consistent with the thrusts and programmes of each AIPA member parliament’s government, according to the Speaker.

During this precarious time, the executive and legislative branches of governments act in unison to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, caring for those afflicted, assisting the hungry and the jobless, and jumpstarting economies which ground to a halt due to various community quarantine measures.

He said AIPA shall continue to support ASEAN in its recovery framework to bring the region back to its feet after this COVID-19 setback.

In a post-pandemic landscape, he continued, AIPA should have a more active role in accelerating regional economic recovery through legislation and oversight, saying AIPA-41 is the perfect opportunity to recalibrate policy directions towards a more a responsive ASEAN and AIPA, to help ASEAN member states overcome the challenges from this and other crises or pandemics in the future.

Alan Peter lauded the adoption of the Hanoi Plan of Action on Strengthening ASEAN Economic Cooperation and Supply Chain Connectivity in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic, during the ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting on June 40.

The Speaker expressed his hope that through the Action Plan, the countries will counter the impact of the pandemic by promoting ASEAN markets for essential goods and deepen economic cooperation among ASEAN member states.

He held that challenges caused by COVID-19 bring about opportunities to adapt and readjust for a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable recovery and growth for ASEAN.

Despite the current difficult circumstances, the future that awaits the region remains bright and prosperous, full of potentials, he believed.

“However, we need to think more of We than I, more than nation but a Community and a Region.”

“We are family and we our brother’s and sister’s keepers. We may be suffering together now because of COVID-19, but through love, unity, cooperation, perseverance, courage, and resourcefulness, we shall rise together,” he said./.