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Vietnam calls for stronger partnership in dealing with COVID-19 at 142nd IPU Assembly

It is necessary to continue to promote the partnership between the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) and regional parliamentary organisations and international organisations in preventing and settling crises or emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic, National Assembly (NA) Standing Vice Chairman Tran Thanh Man has said.

Addressing the virtual opening of the 142nd IPU Assembly on May 26 (Hanoi time), which is themed “Overcoming the pandemic today and building a better tomorrow: the role of parliaments,” Man suggested that the IPU should call on countries with advantages in COVID-19 vaccine production to support developing and pandemic-hit countries to gain fair and timely access to vaccine sources and modern medical equipment at reasonable prices.

Besides, IPU member parliaments need to urgently complete their national policies in responding to the pandemic, promptly allocate budgets and strengthen supervision over the accountability of the governments while implementing crisis settlement programmes to go through the pandemic, he said.

The Vietnamese representative also suggested the World Health Organisation (WHO) and countries foster their partnership and collaboration in transferring vaccine production technology and training to improv COVID-19 response capacity.

Noting that COVID-19 has posed adverse impacts to socio-economic and politic situation, security and order in many countries across the world, while causing difficulties and challenges in building a peaceful, green and prosperous globe, Man shared Vietnam’s strategy in coping with the pandemic.

He said that right from the first days COVID-19 entered Vietnam, the country has deployed drastic, synchronous and timely measures with the engagement of the whole political system and the determination and consensus of all residents.

Vietnam has implemented the “dual goals” of effectively controlling the pandemic to ensure public health and recovering and boosting economic development at the same time, securing social welfare in the “new normal”, said Man.

It has applied the 5K message which comprises khau trang (face masks), khu khuan (disinfection), khoang cach (distancing), khong tu tap (no gatherings), and khai bao y te (health declarations), he said, affirming that the country has basically put the pandemic under good control, ensuring stability and socio-economic development and winning confidence from local residents and compliment from international friends.

In the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vietnamese NA has always accompanied the Government by promptly allocating budgets to pandemic response and issuing measures and policies supporting people and enterprises, while sharing its experience in dealing with COVID-19 at multilateral inter-parliamentary forums and taking practical actions to show solidarity with parliaments of other countries such as offering them masks and medical suppplies, said Man.

In his opening remark, IPU President Duarte Pacheco said that the official opening of an IPU Assembly is a time when parliamentarians from around the world come together to share a common goal and commitment to inter-parliamentary dialogue and cooperation. This is also the moment when our values, ideas and aspirations converge into a strong impulse to strengthen peace and representative democracy, he said.

More than 3 million people have lost their lives to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, adding that together with a climate crisis and a recession on a scale not seen in nearly a century, the pandemic has reversed some of the great progress made in human development. Decades of work has been erased in a blink of an eye, and millions of people all over the world have fallen again into extreme poverty.

Access to vaccines is too fragmented, uneven and slow, he said, underlining that over 1.32 billion vaccine doses have been given to people across the globe but much more needs to be done to bridge the wide gaps between vaccination programmes in different countries and regions.

The IPU President called on all countries to make the most of the IPU, particularly in these troubled times.

This organisation has lived through many turbulent periods in the past century but has always stood by its primary purpose of being the global organisation of national parliaments, where political dialogue, parliamentary diplomacy and cooperation can fuel the solutions for a better tomorrow, he stated./.