AIPA opening emphasises Asean’s regional significance

The importance of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) and its role as a forum for the region was underlined by the assembly’s President at its opening in Vientiane yesterday.

President of the Lao National Assembly and President of Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) Ms Pany Yathotou particularly stressed the role Asean has in building regional stability, peace and development.

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She said in her opening address the 35th AIPA General Assembly was working under the theme “Strengthening Parliamentary Cooperation in the Asean Community Building” with the organisation being a key cooperation platform made up of representatives from Asean member parliaments.

This is especially important as all member states are working hard towards the establishment of an Asean Community in 2015.

“We hope that this 35th General Assembly of the AIPA will build on the good tradition that has been practiced and also mark yet another historical milestone in the evolutionary process of Asean as we move closer towards an Asean Community in 2015,” Ms Pany said.

Ms Pany said the political and security situation in different parts of the world continues to be critical. Meanwhile the financial and economic situation in many regions around the globe remains unstable.

“However, the cooperation for peace, stability and development remains the prevailing trend that needs to be continuously promoted and actively expanded through bilateral and multilateral cooperation,” she said.

Ms Pany observed that preparations for the Asean Community, in particular the Asean Economic Community, are on track, notably the preparation of legal frameworks as well as awareness raising among the people of the region.

Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong delivered his welcome speech at the AIPA opening ceremony, urging the AIPA delegates to discuss in depth how to enhance their cooperation between AIPA and Asean on a number of issues.

The PM told the delegates that Laos is contributing actively in the Asean community building process and will host the Asean Summit for the second time in Vientiane in 2016 after the country’s success in hosting the summit in 2004.

Over 300 delegates from AIPA member countries, development partners and other invited guests are attending the AIPA General Assembly which will run until September 20.

The opening of the 35th AIPA meeting was followed by the first plenary session where the leaders of 10 AIPA member delegations and observer delegations delivered their statements at the meeting.

During the AIPA meeting, participants will discuss their efforts to enhance cooperation on the basis of the parliaments’ role as representatives of people in the Asean community building process.

The AIPA member countries will also discuss their cooperation with development partners aiming to promote peace, stability and sustainable development in the region and in the world.

AIPA is an inter-parliamentary cooperation platf orm of Asean with the aim of supporting and contributing to the overall goals of Asean, in accordance with the legislative and representative mandates of the respective member parliaments.

Throughout the 37 years since its establishment, AIPA, formerly known as AIPO, has contributed significantly to the development processes of Asean, and at the same time has continuously developed its roles to meet the needs of the people and the general trends of development in the new era .

This is the second time Laos has hosted AIPA with the first occasion being in 2005.

Source: Vientiane Times
Published on September 17, 2014