Vice Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam Do Ba Ty speaks at the first plenary session of the AIPA-39 (Photo: VNA)

Singapore (VNA)
– A delegation from the National Assembly of Vietnam led by Vice Chairman Do Ba Ty participated in the 39th ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) General Assembly, which opened in Singapore on September 4.

Themed “Towards a Resilient and Innovative Community”, the event drew over 350 delegates from both member and observing countries, along with representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat and parliamentarians from Morocco and Norway as guests of the host.

Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean suggested the AIPA focus on solidarity, connectivity, creativity, and climate change adaptation to build a sustainable and innovative ASEAN community.

He affirmed that mechanisms led by ASEAN are an important foundation for regional countries – especially given the context of an increasingly complicated geopolitical situation, non-traditional and cross-border challenges such as terrorism, violent extremism, and cyber crime; along with protectionism, which are threatening global political order and economy.

Meanwhile, the AIPA plays a significant part in promoting solidarity and cooperation in the region, he said, adding that AIPA parliamentarians hold a crucial role in helping other countries understand the importance of creating a more connected ASEAN as well as promoting a free and open trade market.

AIPA parliamentarians are also pivotal in promoting the application of new technology in businesses, making use of the Fourth Industrial Revolution wave in building up smart cities networks, he said.

In particular, the AIPA should urge leaders to encourage sustainable growth; create ecological systems adaptive to climate change and environmental protection; and mitigate the possible effectives that natural disasters have on people’s lives, he suggested.

Singaporean Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin – who is also President of the AIPA-39 General Assembly – said that Singapore will spare no effort in making active contributions towards reinforcing mutual understanding and trust among AIPA members, thus creating an important foundation to boost cooperation and build a more sustainable and innovative ASEAN, serving the best interests of its people.

Addressing the first plenary session of the AIPA-39, Vice Chairman Do Ba Ty said the National Assembly of Vietnam has been actively involved in AIPA activities, contributing to building the ASEAN community towards stability and sustainable development.

The AIPA should continue to place a high premium on ASEAN codes of conduct, such as abiding by international law; promoting solidarity and unity as a joint effort to maintain peace and security; paying attention to building trust; preventing all possible conflicts in the region; and actively implementing commitments in ASEAN, he recommended.

He added that the AIPA needs to make it easier for cooperation agendas to be implemented in ASEAN across all spheres, particularly high technology and digital fields, as well as efforts to cope with non-traditional security matters as approved by ASEAN leaders last April.

He suggested the AIPA promote parliamentarian scrutiny of the implementation of the ASEAN master plan in terms of the pillar of policy, economy, and society-culture. Enhancing coordination and assistance among member nations to develop economy, narrow development gap, improve people’s living standards, cope with climate change, protect the environment, energy security, and water resources was also recommended.

The AIPA is comprised of all 10 ASEAN parliaments, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The AIPA was established in 1977 as the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organisation (AIPO) with the parliaments of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand as its founding members. In 2007, AIPO was officially renamed the AIPA. –VNA