Kung Phoak, Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) –
The ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly
(AIPA)’s function is crucial in concerted efforts to build a people-oriented,
people-centred ASEAN Community, said Kung Phoak, Deputy Secretary General of
Speaking at the first plenary session of the 41st General Assembly of AIPA that is being held online from September 8-10, Phoak
said AIPA parliamentarians are well-placed to reach out to the peoples of ASEAN
and act as intermediaries between them and the policymakers.
AIPA, as the region’s lead parliamentary organisation, is
well-posed in enhancing the ASEAN’s integration process, he continued.
AIPA plays a critical role in transposing regional commitments to
national laws. Similarly, AIPA is pivotal in expediting ratifications of signed
ASEAN agreements, aligning domestic laws and regulations with regional
priorities while monitoring the implementation of these laws.
This year 2020 was supposed to be an exciting year for ASEAN.
While COVID-19 has substantially slowed-down some of activities and events,
ASEAN – under Vietnam’s able Chairmanship – has stayed focused in endeavoring
our community building process and regional integration journey, according to
the Deputy Secretary General.
“Looking back, two learning points are evident. Firstly, COVID-19
has irreversibly transformed the world, and the road to recovery will be a long
and consequential journey. Secondly, in an interconnected world, a global
crisis requires international cooperation, and no single country can wrestle
any crisis alone. Hence, tackling the pandemic demands solidarity and actions
across the international community,” he said.
In the same context, he went on, ASEAN will and must continue to
remain united in the resolve to make policy and law-making work for the benefit
of peoples. ASEAN has to keep markets open, ensure the normal flows of trade
and supply chain connectivity, particularly for essential products. Such a
demonstration of regional commitment is critical, in light of the pressure to
Since March 2020, ASEAN has been taking prompt and decisive
actions to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic. The successful convening of
the 36th ASEAN online Summit in June 2020 was a clear illustration of ASEAN’s
solidarity manifested in concrete regional cooperation.
It has, among others, affirmed the need for a regional recovery
plan post-COVID-19, that involves collaboration among public agencies,
businesses and other stakeholders.
At the last Interface between ASEAN Leaders and AIPA during the
36th ASEAN online Summit, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, as ASEAN
Chair, affirmed the compelling need for ASEAN member states to stay united, and
to turn challenges into opportunities for sustainable development, Phoak
PM Phuc urged both ASEAN and AIPA to work together to facilitate
the post-COVID 19 recovery, including implementing timely policies and measures
to mitigate adverse impacts of the crisis and to rebuild lives, he said./.