41st General Assembly of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly opens

The 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA 41) themed “Parliamentary Diplomacy for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community” opened in Hanoi on September 8 under the chair of National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Chair of the AIPA 41.

 Addressing the opening ceremony, NA Chairwoman Ngan said this is the first time in 43-year history the AIPA General Assembly has been held virtually amid the complicated developments of COVID-19, showing determination and efforts of ASEAN member parliaments and governments in overcoming difficulties, fighting the pandemic and moving forward for people’s well-being and cooperation and development of the ASEAN Community.

 This is the third time Vietnam has undertaken on the role of AIPA chair and hosted the General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly. This event affirmed Vietnamese National Assembly’s role and responsibility as well as AIPA’s international mission in multilateral cooperation mechanisms.

She informed delegates that the Vietnamese National Assembly has closely cooperated with ASEAN member parliaments to organise numerous activities, promoting roles of the AIPA and its members in building ASEAN Community.

Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc spoke highly of the AIPA’s role as a significant organisation of legislative bodies in ASEAN. During the past decades, AIPA parliamentary cooperation has always played an important role in coordinating with ASEAN member governments in maintaining and consolidating regional peace, security, stability, cooperation and development; as well as enhancing people-to-people connectivity.

In his video message at the opening ceremony, Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong applauded the organisation of AIPA 41 in the form of a teleconference.

The first plenary session of the AIPA -41 took place Following the online opening ceremony of AIPA 41.

In their speeches, heads of AIPA member delegations recognised leadership by the National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Chair of AIPA 41 and dedication and steadfast commitment of the National Assembly of Vietnam in making it possible to convene the 41st AIPA General Assembly this year albeit virtually amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vice Chairperson of the Vietnamese National Assembly Tong Thi Phong, who headed the Vietnamese delegation to the AIPA-41, said given adverse impacts by the pandemic, ASEAN and AIPA are evidence of the spirit of solidarity and mutual assistance to overcome difficulties.

She also held that AIPA and its member parliaments should stay united to overcome challenges brought by the pandemic in all fields, including universal health coverage, health emergency response network, environment protection, biodiversity and waste management./.