Inside ASEAN Column
The 40th General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly
Column: Inside ASEAN
Written by: Bureau of Public Relations1
Translated by: Bureau of Foreign Languages
The 40th General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly
The Thai National Assembly hosted the 40th General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly during 25-30 August 2019 at Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok under the theme “Advancing Parliamentary Partnership for Sustainable Community”
ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) is the legislative organ of ASEAN with the vision to create peace, stability and prosperity in the region as well as to maintain harmony and to act as a core for international cooperation in the social and cultural dimensions and commit to develop life quality of the people. The General Assembly of AIPA is therefore, the forum for parliamentarians to discuss and cooperate for the implementation towards the achievement of sustainable ASEAN Community of people oriented in which no one is left behind for the sustainable future. As the legislative branch is one of the three pillars to sustainably drive ASEAN to achieve the goals, parliamentarians as representatives of the people have legislative duties in enforcing laws to benefit of the people and the region.
The opening of the 40th General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly was held on Monday 26 August 2019 at 9.00 hours at Ballroom 2-3, Lobby Floor, Shangri-La Hotel presided by H.E. Mr. Chuan Leekpai, President of the National Assembly and President of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly. The assembly was attended by 440 representatives from 16 countries and 5 organizations. On this occasion, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister, gave a welcome speech. In addition, Professor Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, Vice President of the National Assembly as Head of the Thai Delegation, Mr. Suchart Tancharoen, First Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, General Singsuk Singpai, First Vice-President of the Senate, Mr. Supachai Phosu, Second Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Supachai Somcharoen, Second Vice-President of the Senate and Mr. Sompong Amornwiwat, Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives as well as parliamentarians and executive officers of the Secretariat of the House of Representatives and the Secretariat of the Senate attended the general assembly.
The important agenda of the general assembly is to urge AIPA to achieve various proposals as discussed in the recent AIPA-ASEAN Interface in the 34th ASEAN Summit in June. AIPA proposed important issues to ASEAN leaders namely, climate change and environmental safeguard, narrowing the development gaps, ASEAN member countries development, women empowerment and gender equality, the 4th industrial revolution and drugs issues.
The summary of the General Assembly consisting of the meetings of 4 committees and Dialogue with observer countries is as follows;
- Committee on Women Parliamentarians of AIPA
AIPA supported empowerment of women at all ages and considered women’s roles as one of the ASEAN’s sustainable pillars. The meeting passed resolutions to support and promote women’s roles and support reduction of gaps in genderequality for access to technology.
- Committee on Economic Matters
AIPA aimed to equally develop economy at all sectors without leaving anyone behind as well as agreed to the preparation for the 4th industrial revolution and the improvement of digital connectivity to support the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The meeting also considered the development of standardization and liberalization of air services under the ASEAN Single Aviation Market.
- Committee on Social Matters
AIPA committed to build the ASEAN Community of well-being in all age ranges especially, a drug-free ASEAN Community, strengthening legislations and regulations for activities related to road safety in order to significantly reduce accidents, enhancing the quality of life of older persons, eliminating all forms of violence and exploitation of children, regional parliamentary initiative for enhancing climate action in ASEAN and access to justice for migrant workers.
- Committee on Organizational Matters
AIPA emphasized the importance of enhancing sustainable and prosperous ASEAN. As AIPA Secretariat is the core organization to support AIPA’s missions, AIPA considered the 2018 and 2020 budgets of AIPA Secretariat, set up guidelines for the invitation of guest countries and parliaments of observer countries, cooperated with international organizations to develop the potential of AIPA’s personnel and discussed on the date and time for the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly during 25-30 August 2020, in Halong Bay, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
- Dialogue with Observer Countries
Under the topic “Partnership for Good Regulatory Practices”, Thailand proposed cooperation on legislations and regulations among the AIPA member countries as well as the AIPA member countries and the 5 observer countries namely, the Commonwealth of Australia, Canada, People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation through parliament channels. All countries agreed on such matters in order to achieve the agreement for the benefits of the two parties especially, in supporting legislations which promote trades and economy.
It was an honour for Thailand to be the host country this year which is a good opportunity to enhance cooperation between AIPA and ASEAN and proposed draft resolutions on various matters in order to support adoption of draft resolutions for successful implementation to benefit the region. Thailand proposed the following draft resolutions to the AIPA.
- Draft Resolution on Promoting Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in ASEAN to the Committee on Women Parliamentarians of AIPA
- Draft Resolution on Fostering Inclusive Economic Development in ASEAN and ASEAN Cooperation to Prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution to the Committee on Social Matters
- Draft Resolution on Enhancing the Quality of Life of Older Persons and Strengthening Road Safety in ASEAN and a report on the 2nd AIPACODD Meeting to the Committee on Social Matters
- Draft Resolution on Collection and Exchange of Information of Laws of AIPA to the Committee on Organizational Matters
During the General Assembly, the meeting successfully adopted important resolutions and supported cooperation between AIPA and ASEAN to move forward for the benefit and prosperity of the region especially on prioritizing matters by the setting people a priority to gain ultimate benefit under limited resources, create cooperation at all levels, enhancing people’s potential and live on their own by providing opportunity and security, respecting rule of law, follow social regulations stipulated by law in order to successfully become a sustainable community. Through parliamentary practices, problems will be solved by directly engaging with the people, embracing diversity and respecting differences in order to move forward to stable and people-centered ASEAN community as well as creating value for the next generations.
The closing ceremony of the 40th General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly was held on Monday 26th August 2019 at 9.00 hours at Ballroom 2-3, Shangri-La Hotel. H.E. Mr. Chuan Leekpai, President of the National Assembly and President of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly delivered a closing speech and transferred AIPA chairmanship to Ms. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan Vietnam, President of the National Assembly of Vietnam as the host country of the 41st AIPA General Assembly. On this occasion, Mr. Isra Sunthornvut, Secretary General of AIPA, has completed his service this year and transferred the position to Ms. Nguyen Tuong Van from the National Assembly of Vietnam as the new Secretary General of AIPA. H.E. Mr. Chuan Leekpai presented the AIPA Distinguished Service Award to Mr. Charoen Kanthawongs for his meritorious services to AIPA. The award is given to the person who performs with good conducts and governance as well as makes contributions and reputations to AIPA.
1The Secretariat of the House of Representatives. The 40th General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly.
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