Chairwoman of Vietnam’s National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan at AIPA-40 (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) -
The timely response to
COVID-19 by the parliaments of ASEAN member countries has played a significant
role in accelerating goals and programmes for regional sustainable development
in the future.
Chairwoman of Vietnam’s National Assembly Nguyen Thi
Kim Ngan, who is also Chair of the 41st General Assembly of the
ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA 41), sent a letter in March to chairpersons
of AIPA member parliaments calling for joint efforts in protecting ASEAN from
She highlighted solidarity, sharing, and mutual
support within the bloc in the face of the coronavirus.
Each AIPA member parliament should join hands with governments
in the fight by promoting their role and approving relevant measures and
policies proposed by governments, Ngan said.
Vietnam’s NA, together with the support of other AIPA
member parliaments, will make every effort to ensure the success of the 2020
AIPA Year, for peace, safety, and happiness of the people and the sustainable
development and prosperity of all ASEAN countries and the world, she pledged.
In that spirit, at the ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with
Representatives of AIPA within the 36th ASEAN Summit in June, Ngan
lauded ASEAN’s joint efforts in coping with the unprecedented challenges posed by
She backed the implementation of ASEAN initiatives and
support to governments in rolling out solutions to bring the pandemic under
In the short term, ASEAN should focus resources on
improving economic recovery post-COVID-19, maintain commitments made to opening
up trade and investment and connecting supply chains, ensure food security and
access to medicines and medical supplies at reasonable prices, and assist
people and businesses affected by the pandemic, she suggested.
In culture-society, AIPA encourages the timely
issuance of policies on education, unemployment, and public health improvements,
including the public’s capacity to access vaccines and essential goods, Ngan
At a meeting on the role of parliaments in
international cooperation against COVID-19 in April, Chairman of the Vietnamese
NA Committee for External Relations Nguyen Van Giau called on AIPA member
parliaments to take a more active role and accompany governments in the pandemic
fight through the issuance of relevant polices and measures.
At the 11th AIPA Caucus on August 14,
Vietnam urged AIPA member parliaments to continue review and perfect legal
frameworks to facilitate trade and ensure the distribution of goods and the smooth
operation of regional supply chains.
Member parliaments have committed to accelerating the
ratification of regional trade agreements and prioritising efforts to complete
negotiations and sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
The countries have also stepped up parliamentary
supervision over the implementation of investment and trade commitments, both
regionally and internationally, considering this a major tool in promoting
economic connectivity within the ASEAN Economic Community and between ASEAN and
They also focused on infrastructure development,
digital connectivity, digital data safety, and digital knowledge and skills,
while making the best use of Industry 4.0 to overcome the consequences of
economic closures and social distancing amid COVID-19.
At the same time, AIPA member parliaments have
intensified regional infrastructure and transport connectivity and cooperation in
the Mekong Sub-region and other sub-regions in ASEAN, especially in
environmental protection, the development of smart agriculture, and the
sustainable use of cross-border natural resources, so as to ensure food, water,
and energy security in sub-regions during and post-COVID-19.
Given the adverse impact of COVID-19 in many countries
and around the world, coordination between governments and parliaments will contribute
to fighting the pandemic and ensuring social welfare, for the peace, safety,
and happiness of the people and the sustainable development and prosperity of
ASEAN member countries and also the world./.