Thailand underscores AIPA’s role in applying digital technologies hinh anh 1Chuan Leekpai, President of the National Assembly of Thailand. (Photo: VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – Chuan Leekpai, President of the National Assembly of Thailand, highlighted the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA)’s role in applying digital technologies while delivering a speech at the first plenary session of the 42nd General Assembly of the AIPA via videoconference on August 23.

He said that this year’s theme “Forging Parliamentary Cooperation in Digital Inclusion Towards ASEAN Community 2025” was both timely and pertinent because not all citizens of ASEAN, especially those who need it the most, have access to digital technologies.

“As digital technology inherently transcends border, we must come together to find a delicate balance,” he said.

Chuan reiterated the importance of harmonising the legal framework throughout the region, adding that over the past two years, great strides have been made towards the goal, including opening a dialogue between AIPA’s delegation and the ASEAN Secretariat.

The official said in January this year, the ASEAN Digital Master Plan 2025 was released to unify the vision towards a digital future. 

The plan would not only allow countries in the region to recover from economic downturn faster but also enable a more sustainable and inclusive comeback than before, he said.

“I believe that ASEAN as a region was ripe for a technological leapfog if we get it right,” Chuan said.

As AIPA members gathered over the next three days, it was important that the legislations must address both short-term needs and long-term objectives.

Using digital technologies to fight COVID-19 was reasonable and responsible, however, he said, it was a must to consider carefully before passing any regulation that could harm individual rights. 

Aside from the need for digital inclusion, ASEAN continued to face many difficult challenges and AIPA must be a centre of alignment through which strategies, policies, plans and roadmaps can be coordinated, he said.

Concluding his speech, Chuan expressed his belief that despite many complex issues for the committee's meetings this year, through the capable chairmanship, the representatives from AIPA member countries would exchange perspectives and considerations, overcome the differences and find common growth as they always did.

He took the opportunity to invite the participants to the 13th AIPA Caucus Meeting, hosted by Thailand next year./.