Vietnam on August 5 raised three initiatives at the ongoing 30 th General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-30) in the Thai resort city of Pattaya.

Two of the initiatives, which were presented at the Standing Committees, highlight AIPA’s role in implementing the ASEAN Charter and fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals for sustainable human security.

The other covers the AIPA member parliaments’ role in supporting their governments’ efforts to weather the current economic crisis and narrow the development gap by building and improving their legal frameworks and bodies of law.

At the Committee on Political Matters, legislators emphasised the need to promote democracy and human rights, including the right to full development, for the people of the AIPA member countries.

During the meeting of the Committee on Economic Matters, participants all voiced support for the region’s economic integration process, fostering trade and investment, bridging the development gap among ASEAN member nations, and ensuring food and energy security.

Also on the second day of the AIPA-30, delegations from the eight AIPA member nations - Cambodia , Indonesia , Laos , Malaysia , the Philippines , Singapore , Thailand and Vietnam – as well as the newly-admitted Brunei -- conducted dialogues with their observer countries.

National Assembly Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong, who is heading the Vietnamese delegation, met with Jha Peixin, Vice Chairman of the National People’s Congress (NPC)’s Committee for Foreign Affairs and head of the Chinese delegation.

Phong said the Vietnamese legislature wishes to further step up exchanges and cooperation with its Chinese counterpart, thus helping to develop friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries.

The two legislative bodies should increase the exchange of visits and the sharing of experiences as well as work closely and support each other at regional and world inter-parliamentary forums, she said.

Jha said the NPC attaches importance to developing ties with Vietnam ’s legislature and the AIPA as well. He asked Phong to convey his invitation to NA Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong, who is the AIPA-31 Chair, to lead an AIPA delegation to visit China .

The Chinese lawmaker applauded recent positive developments in the China-Vietnam relationship, adding that the two countries are hold great potential for expanding cooperation in many fields.

He urged the two parliaments to further beef up cooperation and sharing of legislative and supervisory experiences and enhance the capacity and role of their legislators.

The same day, Phong met with Bryon Wilfert, head of the Canadian delegation and president of the Canada-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentary Group.

Wilfert, who is also Vice Chair of the Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on National Defence, said Canada treasures its relations with Vietnam and has kept Vietnam in its list of 20 nations that will receive aid.

On the sidelines of the AIPA-30, Phong and her entourage held bilateral meetings with delegations from Thailand , Singapore , Laos , Cambodia , the Philippines , Indonesia and Malaysia as well as representatives from AIPA observer and dialogue countries./.