Vietnamese Party and State leaders pose for a group photo with leaders of AIPO member parliaments at the opening of AIPO-23 in Hanoi on September 9, 2002 (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Over the last four decades,
the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) has
become one of the most outstanding inter-parliamentary models in Asia and a
symbol of solidarity, cooperation, and unity in diversity within the ASEAN
According to former Vice Chairman of
the National Assembly’s Committee for External Relations Ngo Anh Dung, AIPA was
initially the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organisation (AIPO), which
was formed on September 2, 1977 in Manila, the Philippines, with five members: Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
The establishment of AIPO aimed at promoting
collaboration among legislative bodies of regional countries as well as the
sharing of information and experience in law-building, thus enhancing mutual
understanding, friendship, solidarity, and unity among members.
In 2006, along with the changing of
its name as AIPA, the organisation supplemented and adjusted its Charter, completing
the organisation of a Jakarta-based Secretariat and strengthening the
supervision of the implementation of resolutions through the yearly reporting
Commenting on the efficiency of AIPA
in fostering cooperation among member parliaments for reaching ASEAN goals,
especially over the last decade, Chairman of the NA's Committee for External Relations Nguyen Van Giau said
that all activities of the Assembly have been associated with ASEAN’s yearly
ASEAN Chair Statements, which cover
issues from the Political-Security Community, the Economic Community, and the Socio-Cultural
Community, have served as the foundation for AIPA’s activities, he said.
He noted that AIPA member parliaments
have accompanied ASEAN members’ governments in realising resolutions and
declarations approved by ASEAN countries.
Giau stressed the significance of women
parliamentarians in AIPA activities, contributing ideals in areas such as
politics and socio-economy and ensuring gender equality and the rights of women
Along with ASEAN, AIPA has played a major
role in strengthening solidarity and mutual understanding and trust among
people in regional countries while positively supporting governments in
effectively implementing trans-national cooperation, encouraging the
maintenance of national identity, and assisting in improvements to the capacity
of member parliaments, he said.
AIPA has also walked shoulder-to-shoulder
with regional countries in dealing with major challenges such as the consequences
of the global financial crisis, sustainable development, regional security,
development gaps, and trans-national crime, Giau said.
Through general assemblies, AIPA has
issued a host of resolutions regarding important issues, in particular politics,
security, and trust building.
AIPA has helped foster regional
integration through the enhancement of cooperation among inter-governmental and
inter-parliamentary institutions and the promotion of global peace and
Amid complex developments in the
region and world, AIPA has released resolutions calling for stronger engagement
from Southeast Asian parliaments in coping with security and political issues in
the region. Parliaments have played an important role in ASEAN cooperation for
the construction and development of the ASEAN Community, Giau noted.
In the field of economy, AIPA has paid
much attention to bolstering cooperation among ASEAN countries and between the
grouping and its partners. AIPA has also approved resolutions highlighting the
need to narrow the development gap among ASEAN member countries as well as
between the bloc and other regions.
AIPA has supported the implementation
of the Blueprint of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and suggested that ASEAN make
periodical assessments of implementation in line with the AEC Vision 2025.
Regarding the implementation of the UN
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), AIPA parliamentarians have stressed the
need for ASEAN member countries to ensure that economic development is accompanied
by the sustainable development of natural resources, minimisation of the negative
impact of climate change, food and energy security, and environmental
protection and biodiversity.
AIPA has also helped increase regional cooperation in
education, culture, and healthcare, while enhancing the role of women in ASEAN,
protecting children’s rights, and contributing to resolving issues in the environment,
labour, immigration, poverty, and drugs.
AIPA has also contributed to creating consensus among
member countries in applying poverty reduction measures, promoting the observation
of migrant workers, strengthening discussions on education and vocational
training, preventing child labour, fighting drug trafficking and the spread of
epidemics and trans-national crime, and cooperating in environmental protection
and increasing cooperation in culture and tourism within ASEAN. AIPA has also
increased the role of women in all areas and at all levels.
It has supported ASEAN member countries’ governments
in building the ASEAN Community on all three pillars: politics-security,
economy, and socio-culture.
Giau said that Vietnam's admission to the organisation in
1995 was a historical milestone in the Vietnamese parliament’s relations with its
counterparts in regional countries.
Vietnam has actively engaged in AIPA
activities since then, including hosting the 23rd and 31st AIPA General Assemblies in 2002 and 2010, respectively, as well as thematic
meetings and committee-level meetings, he said./.