HÀ NỘI — The 42nd General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-42), held by Brunei, started this morning via videoconference with the participation of leaders and legislators of AIPA member parliaments, observer delegations, and the AIPA Secretary-General.
On behalf of Việt Nam, Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Vương Đình Huệ led the delegation to attend the virtual opening ceremony.
AIPA-42, themed “Forging Parliamentary Cooperation in Digital Inclusion towards ASEAN Community 2025”, is taking place from August 23 to 25.
In his welcoming remarks, the AIPA-42 President and Speaker of the Legislative Council of Brunei, Abdul Rahman Taib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Lela, congratulated Việt Nam on successfully organising AIPA-41 via videoconference last year.
He noted that in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s time for countries to ensure an inclusive digital transformation to strengthen resilience and better prepare for current and future generations.
Under the impact of the pandemic, the process of digital transformation and digital application has taken place rapidly and shows the importance of digitalisation in today’s information technology era, especially when ASEAN has to overcome this problem together through this difficult time, he said.
In that spirit, he said, the theme of this year’s AIPA-42 General Assembly highlights parliamentarians’ important role in supporting the ASEAN vision of a politically cohesive, economically integrated, and socially responsible community towards the ASEAN Community in 2025.
This theme also highlights the important role of parliament members in supporting ASEAN’s vision of a politically cohesive, economically interconnected and socially responsible community.
Notable issues, including women’s empowerment, climate change, cyber security, and international economic integration are on the AIPA-42 agenda, according to the speaker.
Declaring the opening of AIPA-42, Bruneian Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Chair of ASEAN 2021, held that this year, the bloc stays responsive to unexpected events, and AIPA is in the process of promoting cohesion among member parliaments so as to help build an increasingly cohesive ASEAN Community.
Regarding the AIPA-42 theme, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah said that this theme once again confirms the commitments of the ASEAN member parliaments to make the ASEAN Community a leading economic region; through AIPA to raise awareness and integration of the community and introduce policies and laws in ASEAN to protect foundations and laws related to different areas of life.
“Our common efforts for today’s and tomorrow’s generations are to be able to enjoy sustainable development, prosperity, as well as economic development. Therefore, it is very important that member parliaments of ASEAN countries will continue to build AIPA to become one of the forums and multilateral organisations for meaningful cooperation,” he said.
On this occasion, President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc sent his message to the event.
In his message, he said ASEAN countries, more than ever, needs to show the right vision, identity of solidarity, cohesion and resilience of a community to firmly overcome all difficulties and move forward.
“Every step of the development of the ASEAN Community cannot be realised without the important role of the legislative channel, represented by AIPA and member parliaments,” he said.
Phúc highly appreciated the theme of this year’s AIPA General Assembly, saying it poses practical requirements in ASEAN parliamentary cooperation, promoting the role of the legislative channel in promoting digital transformation, building a digital economy, narrowing the digital divide and digital inequality.
“In the current difficult and challenging period, I especially emphasise the importance of the legislative channel of ASEAN countries, through AIPA and member parliaments, as a pillar of smooth coordination and effective complementarity for ASEAN countries’ efforts in strengthening the bloc to overcome turbulence,” he said.
Phúc said he was confident that the National Assembly of Việt Nam will continue to contribute its best to the cooperation and development of AIPA, to the growth of the ASEAN Community, the common home of more than 650 million people in the area. — VNS