The statement was made by Vietnamese NA Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong at the first plenary session of the AIPA’s 33rd General Assembly in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia, on September 18.
NA Vice Chairwoman Phong affirmed that the Vietnamese NA totally supports and pledges to continue making practical and effective contributions to joint efforts to raise the AIPA’s role in the process towards an ASEAN Community of peace, security, stability, co-operation, development and prosperity.
She noted that ASEAN member countries are making every effort and taking determined moves to strengthen co-operation and boost connectivity towards a strong ASEAN community by 2015.
In this process, Vietnam applauds and actively participates in promoting co-operation and dialogue and building trust among ASEAN member countries and between the bloc and its outside partners, she said.
This aims to maintain peace and stability for mutual development as well as effectively cope with emerging traditional and non-traditional challenges, such as economic development gaps, natural disasters, climate change, food and energy security, disease prevention, trans-national crime, smuggling, drugs, and international terrorism.
NA Vice Chairwoman Phong also affirmed Vietnam’s support for ASEAN in expanding and deepening its relations with outside partners while promoting its central role in the evolving East Asian architecture
According to the Chairwoman, the Vietnamese NA totally backs the 33rd AIPA General Assembly’s theme of ‘Strengthening Parliamentary Roles towards an ASEAN Community by 2015’ initiated by the Indonesia Parliament to boost the regional countries’ joint efforts in building a united, strong and closed-linked ASEAN Community by 2015.
She called on AIPA to actively assist ASEAN member countries in continuing their efforts to strengthen co-operation, solidarity and consensus in addressing challenges to peace, security and stability; and promoting the efficiency of dialogue and trust-building mechanisms such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN+1, ASEAN+3, the East Asian Summit (EAS) and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) as well as through such tools as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ) and the Declaration on Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards the building of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
In addition, AIPA should support ASEAN in fostering the ‘law enforcement culture’ to facilitate the group’s member governments to seriously implement their priorities and commitments in ASEAN, she added.
Before the plenary session, NA Vice Chairwoman Phong paid a courtesy visit to AIPA President Marzuki Alie, who is also Speaker of Indonesia’s House of Representatives.
Later, on the fringes of the 33rd AIPA General Assembly, the Vietnamese NA Vice Chairwoman had bilateral meetings with the heads of the delegations from Cambodia, Belarus and Russia.
While meeting with Speaker of the Cambodian Parliament Heng Somrin, Phong expressed her wish to increase co-operation and experience sharing between the two legislative bodies in order to improve the role and efficiency of their law making and law enforcement supervision activities.
In reply, Heng Somrin said he believes that with their firm bilateral co-operation foundations, the two countries will make greater contributions to peace, stability and development in the region and the world at large.
Meanwhile, the Belarusian and Russian parliament leaders vowed to strengthen relations with the Vietnamese NA in particular and with AIPA in general, in an effort to build an ASEAN Community by 2015 and consolidate the central role of ASEAN in the evolving East Asian architecture.
Earlier on September 17, Phong met with the Speaker of Brunei’s Legislative Council, Pehin Dato Isa bin Ibrahim, the Deputy Director of the Foreign Affairs Bureau at China’s National Assembly Zha Peixin and Victor Ortega, the head of the parliamentary delegation from the Philippines.
The Brunei, Philippines and Chinese officials praised the Vietnamese NA’s important contributions to national construction, development, economic restructuring and modernisation and in implementing the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.
The Vietnamese NA Vice Chairwoman stressed the need to increase co-operation amongst parliaments and their committees as well as civil organisations of these countries.