Making news

AIPA-41 holds first plenary session

The first plenary session of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41) took place in Hanoi on September 8, following the online opening ceremony of AIPA 41.

Participants approved the heads of AIPA member delegations as vice presidents of AIPA-41.

In their speeches, heads of AIPA member delegations recognised leadership by the National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Chair of AIPA 41 and dedication and steadfast commitment of the National Assembly of Vietnam in making it possible to convene the 41st AIPA General Assembly this year albeit virtually amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also recalled challenges facing ASEAN member countries, which are brought by the pandemic, while stressing coordination within ASEAN to overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Vice Chairperson of the Vietnamese National Assembly Tong Thi Phong, who headed the Vietnamese delegation to the AIPA 41 General Assembly, said given adverse impacts by the pandemic, ASEAN and AIPA are evidence of the spirit of solidarity and mutual assistance to overcome difficulties. The organisation of the AIPA 41 General Assembly has showed efforts of AIPA member parliaments and Secretariat as well as of support parliaments of observing countries of AIPA.

She voiced her support for the theme of AIPA 41 “Parliamentary Diplomacy for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community”, and said the Vietnam National Assembly applauded ASEAN’s initiatives in 2020 in order to maintain an environment of peace, security and stability in the region, promote regional connectivity, take advantages of opportunities brought by the fourth Industrial Revolution, and promote awareness on ASEAN community and identity as well as partnership for peace and sustainable development.

Vietnam also supports ASEAN cooperation efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she added.

She also held that AIPA and its member parliaments should stay united to overcome challenges brought by the pandemic in all fields, including universal health coverage, health emergency response network, environment protection, biodiversity and waste management.

She emphasised cooperation to develop a vaccine against COVID-19 as one of immediate tasks needed to be done.

At the session, participants adopted the AIPA-41 General Assembly’s operations programme, its agenda, dialogue theme with observing countries and planned compositions of committees./