Vietnam recognised as active, responsible member of IPU: official hinh anh 1NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (first, left), Chairman of the NA’s Committee for External Relations Nguyen Van Giau (second, left) and other members of the Vietnamese delegation at the plenary session of the IPU 137 in Russia (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam is seen as an active and responsible member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) with substantive contributions to the IPU Assembly, said Chairman of the National Assembly (NA)’s Committee for External Relations Nguyen Van Giau.

He made the remark during an October 18 interview with Vietnam News Agency following NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan’s participation in the 137th IPU Assembly (IPU 137), themed “Promoting cultural pluralism and peace through inter-faith and inter-ethnic dialogue”, in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

He noted that on the IPU 137’s first working day, Chairwoman Ngan delivered an important speech. 

She suggested parliaments around the world create a legal framework on ethnicity and religion, along with a set of criteria to monitor the effectiveness of the framework. She called for more attention to communications to popularise tolerance, while calling for the enhancement of bilateral and multilateral cooperation to learn from each other in solving religious, cultural and ethnic issues. The leader also asked the IPU to work with the United Nations, other international organisations and member parliaments on religious and cultural affairs.

At the IPU 137, the Vietnamese delegation took part in the activities of all IPU committees, the Forum of Women Parliamentarians and the Forum of Young Parliamentarians. It also co-hosted a panel discussion at the Committee on Sustainable Development, Finance and Trade, focusing on encouraging the private economic sector’s involvement in realising the Sustainable Development Goals.

Giau said IPU President Saber Hossain Chowdhury described Vietnam as an active and responsible IPU member with substantive contributions to the IPU Assembly. He also lauded Vietnam’s contributions in recent years, including holding the IPU 132 in Hanoi in 2015.

[Photos: NA Chairwoman's activities in Saint Petersburg]

On the sidelines of the IPU 137, Chairwoman Ngan met with Chairwoman of the Federation Council of Russia Valentina Ivanovna Matviyenko, Speaker of the Republic of Korea’s National Assembly Chung Sye-kyun, Speaker of the Parliament of Iran Ali Ardeshir Larijani, and Vice Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China Zhang Ping.

Following her attendance at the IPU 137, the top legislator of Vietnam visited Kazakhstan, the first ever official trip to this country by a Vietnamese NA leader, Giau noted.

The Kazakh side applauded bilateral relations in politics, economy, culture, education and other spheres. They recognised the progress in economic links, especially Vietnam’s free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union, to which Kazakhstan is a member, was signed in 2015. Bilateral trade rose from less than 100 million USD before the signing to 370 million USD in 2016, and is expected to reach 450 million USD this year.

Both sides expressed their wish to foster cooperation, including in agriculture, transport, industry, tourism and culture.

The NA leader’s visit to Kazakhstan opened up new cooperation opportunities for the two countries, including their parliaments, Giau added.-VNA