AIPA Secretary-General Nguyen Tuong Van (Photo: VNA)
– The Vietnamese National Assembly
(NA)’s thorough and professional preparation for the 41st General Assembly of
the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA 41) has left good impression on
and won the trust of international and regional friends, said AIPA
Secretary-General Nguyen Tuong Van.
Talking to the Vietnam News Agency ahead of the
event, to be held virtually from September 8 to 10, Van held that amidst the
COVID-19 pandemic, the Vietnamese NA took the initiative in changing the form
of the event from offline to online, which she said has reflected its
flexibility, sense of responsibility and resolve to fulfill its role in AIPA Chairmanship.
This is the third time the parliament of Vietnam
has served as AIPA Chair and hosted an AIPA General Assembly, but the first
time an event of this kind takes place in the form of a teleconference.
The theme of AIPA 41, “Parliamentary Diplomacy
for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community”, matches the theme of Vietnam’s
2020 ASEAN Chairmanship, which is “Cohesive and Responsive”, aiming to create
high consensus among member countries and inherit the outcomes of the 36th
ASEAN Summit in June, especially the initiatives suggested by Vietnam and
supported by other nations, according to Secretary-General Van.
She went on to say that upholding its
chairmanship, Vietnam has suggested the establishment of the mechanism of young
parliamentarians’ meetings to promote the youth’s role, while boosting links
between AIPA activities and those of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in
association with the implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
The country has also proposed themes for
meetings of women parliamentarians and the AIPA committees on political
matters, economic matters and social matters and received other members’
support, she added.
There are two highly important principles in the
ASEAN Charter and AIPA regulations, “consensus” and “non-intervention in one
another’s internal affairs”, which have helped maintain the bloc’s solidarity
and unity. However, Van added, ASEAN and AIPA members haven’t been always
shared common voices on certain regional issues in recent years.
During Vietnam’s AIPA Chairmanship, politics –
security remains one of the key areas, aside from sensitive issues among ASEAN
countries as well as between the bloc and partners. Therefore, it requires the
host country’s sharpness, particularly in terms of negotiation skills, so as to
seek similarities among partners who sometimes have very different interests
and concerns, she noted.
As host of AIPA 41, the Vietnamese NA has
coordinated with the Foreign Ministry to negotiate with other member parliaments
to deal with some issues in the Political Affairs Committee’s agenda, Van said.
She emphasised that Vietnam concurrently serving
as ASEAN Chair, AIPA 41 Chair and non-permanent member of the UN Security
Council in 2020 holds great significance, creating conditions for the country
to continue affirming its growing position and role in the region and the
The COVID-19 and the new and complex
developments in the region will pose challenges and pressure, requiring high
sense of responsibility from host Vietnam. Therefore, the Secretary-General
said, Vietnam’s flexibility, proactiveness and sense of responsibility during
the preparation for AIPA 41 as seen recently have been highly valued by other
According to her, the practical and effective
contributions by the Vietnamese NA during the AIPA Chairmanship Year in this
special context are critical to the reinforcement of the country’s friendship
and multifaceted cooperation with other ASEAN members, which in turn will
provide the foundation for it to push ahead with and assert its stature during