President Tran Duc Luong delivers a speech at opening ceremony of 23rd AIPO General Assembly in Hanoi on September 9, 2002 (Source: VNA)
– Vietnam’s National Assembly (NA) has contributed
actively and proactively to the development of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary
Assembly (AIPA) over the last 25 years.
The country’s legislature
became an official member of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organisation (AIPO) -
the predecessor of AIPA - on September 19, 1995, at the 16th AIPO
General Assembly in Singapore.
At the first AIPO general
assembly that it attended as an official member, the Vietnamese NA made active
contributions to the assembly’s activities. In his remarks at the opening
session of the event, NA Chairman Nong Duc Manh stressed that the NA joining
AIPO after the country became a member of ASEAN was of great significance,
marking a significant change in Southeast Asia for the independence and
prosperity of each nation in the region.
Since then, in
every difficult time the region has faced, the legislative body has taken
timely action, together with parliaments of other member states, to deal with arising
In 1998 - a year
after the Asian financial crisis rocked Asia - Vietnam proposed organising an
AIPO conference on the role of legislative bodies in dealing with the crisis,
which was held a year later.
In 2002, Vietnam
hosted the AIPO General Assembly for the first time. With its role as AIPO
Chair in the 2001-2002 tenure, the country’s legislature successfully organised
the 23rd General Assembly in Hanoi, contributing in a practical
manner to the organisation’s development.
resolutions approved at the meeting, 20 were initiated by Vietnam, and those
ideas remain valuable today.
Vietnam again successfully
organised the 31st AIPA General Assembly from September 20-24, 2010,
in Hanoi, fulfilling its responsibility as AIPA Chair in the 2009-2010 tenure, expressing
the country’s efforts to integrate into the region.
The Vietnamese legislature
has made a great many proposals at AIPA general assemblies over the last 25
years and participated in AIPA activities. Such contributions helped
consolidate Vietnam’s friendship and multifaceted cooperation with ASEAN member
states and affirmed the legislative body’s position and role in the region and
Former deputy head
of the NA Committee for External Relations Ngo Anh Dung said that since becoming
a member, the NA has fully taken part in AIPO activities and made suggestions
to help the organisation operate more effectively and substantially.
In the political realm,
Vietnam’s initiatives mainly focus on improving the organisation’s role,
intensifying intra-bloc collaboration, and building the ASEAN Community.
In the economic field,
the country’s initiatives emphasise the urgent need for economic connectivity
in the region as well as the role of parliaments in coping with economic crises
and boosting sustainable development.
In terms of social
affairs and gender equality, the NA has proposed many initiatives, especially on
promoting the role of women in general and female parliamentarians in
particular. Of special note, the first AIPO Women Parliamentarians’ Meeting was
held at the 19th AIPO General Assembly in 1998, following
initiatives by Vietnam and Malaysia.
Vietnam has made other
contributions in terms of organisational matters of AIPO and AIPA, such as
granting insignias to those making major contributions to the organisation’s
development, and intensifying links between the organisation and ASEAN.
In 2007, to
connect Government heads and top legislators of ASEAN countries, Vietnam
proposed a dialogue between ASEAN and AIPA leaders.
When hosting the
AIPA General Assembly for the second time in 2010, the country organised the
first dialogue. Since then, the high-level dialogue has been held within the
framework of ASEAN Year and AIPA Year.
This year, as the
41st AIPA Chair, the NA has taken the initiative in cooperating with
member parliaments to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Governments in seeking
measures to promote post-COVID-19 economic recovery, contributing to consolidating
cooperation and solidarity in ASEAN in a spirit of “Parliamentary diplomacy for
a cohesive and responsive ASEAN Community”./.