Speaker of the House of Representatives of Indonesia Puan Maharani at the event (Photo: Antara)
Jakarta (VNA) – Speaker of the House of Representatives of Indonesia Puan
Maharani has affirmed that peace,
security and stability has always been an important factor in the development
and growth of the region.
Addressing the first plenary session
of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary
Assembly (AIPA-41) that opened online on September 8, Maharani said it is
crucial that Southeast Asia is kept to be peaceful, friendly and harmonious, in
order to enhance cooperation to curb the spread of COVID-19 and address its
She added that AIPA needs to
prioritise on peaceful settlement, avoid tension, exercise self-restraint and encourage
confidence building measures between ASEAN member states, while emphasising on
According to her, AIPA member
parliaments should also encourage ASEAN nations to uphold the United Nation
Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982 as reference in determining maritime
entitlements, sovereign rights and legitimate interests over maritime zones.
In her opinion, a Code of Conduct in
the East Sea (COC) should also be fostered as the mutually agreeable platform
for dialogue and consultation between ASEAN and China on the East Sea. Such
good process can be reflected on the ground, she hoped.
The Speaker said the theme of this
year’s General Assembly marks the increasingly important role of the parliaments
especially in this time of COVID-19 pandemic, which is impacting so many lives
and limiting economic activities causing the region to be in the verge of
To this situation, she called on
parliaments to encourage governments of ASEAN member states to deliver adequate
policy to curb the spread of COVID-19, reduce greater economic impact and
ensuring social welfare.
She suggested parliaments optimise
their role by performing legislative duty related to the effort of combating
COVID-19 and its socio-economic impact, such as issuing laws related to fiscal
stimulus or strengthening social safety net.
Parliaments should also improve
oversight to ensure that those laws would be implemented, and their benefits
would be felt by the people, she said.
To advance as a cohesive and responsive
ASEAN Community, she highlighted a need to enhance capacity to respond
effectively to emerging regional challenges, including in the context of human
“I believe that we as one ASEAN
Community will overcome this difficult time and working together in addressing
other regional challenges,” she stressed.
“With the spirit of ‘Gotong Royong’,
a traditional Indonesian term of working collectively, we will be able to
achieve one common goal to surpass this global COVID-19 pandemic”, she said./.