The 31 st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-31) will be held in Hanoi from September 19-25, 2010.

The decision was made by the AIPA General Assembly at its 30 th session which wrapped up in Pattaya city, Thailand , on August 6.

At the closing ceremony, the AIPA-30 Chair, Chai Chidchob, who is the Thai Parliament’s President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, presented a hammer – the AIPA’s symbol – to the Vietnamese delegation head, NA Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong.

In her speech to take up the AIPA-31 Presidency, the top Vietnamese legislator said that this is not only a duty and responsibility but also a great honour for the Vietnamese National Assembly.

She expressed her belief that with the AIPA member parliaments’ support, together with its concerted efforts and determination, the Vietnamese NA will be able to completely fulfil its role as the AIPA Chair, making an active contribution to boosting friendship, cooperation and mutual understanding within the AIPA community as well as elevating the organisation’s role, position and operational efficiency, towards the goal of “Solidarity, Cooperation and Development” for peace and prosperity in the region as well as the world.

The four-day session approved 29 resolutions, including three initiated by Vietnam .

Top legislators from AIPA member countries and special observers signed a joint communiqué that reaffirms the need for close cooperation to build an ASEAN community in 2015 on the basis of the ASEAN Charter and AIPA regulations.

Showing strong support for the regional integration process, the joint communiqué said that it is necessary to build a competitive and prosperous ASEAN community, in which AIPA member parliaments play an important role in harmonising the legal system and speeding up the implementation of economic cooperation agreements and initiatives among ASEAN members and between the bloc and outside partners.

The participants suggested building a sound financial system, improving the macro economy and increasing the quality of human resources as measures to overcome difficulties and challenges derived from the on-going global financial crisis.

While saying that liberalisation of trade and investment and the exchange of goods should be sped up, they also emphasised the importance of ensuring food and energy security and recommended continued support for the regional integration process of new ASEAN members, including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, in an effort to narrow the development gap among member countries, towards the building of a common ASEAN house of peace and prosperity.

On the same day, AIPA-30 Chair Chai Chidchob, the ASEAN General Secretary, heads of participating delegations, special observers, and other guests paid courtesy visits to the King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej./.