President Choummaly Sayasone received a courtesy visit from delegates of the 35th Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) yesterday, which is being hosted in Vientiane from September 14-20.

Welcoming the delegates at the Presidential Palace, the Lao president spoke highly of the visit to Laos in order to attend the 35th AIPA. He said it was his honour and he was delighted to receive the guests.

[youtube id=”w56kUXczEp4″ width=”720″ height=”405″ position=”left”]

President Choummaly congratulated and thanked the heads of delegations and their delegates for their attendance at the 35th AIPA hosted by Laos, saying that their participation reflected the support from the AIPA member parliaments being extended to Laos in hosting the meeting.

In his welcoming remarks, President Choummaly spoke of the important status of the AIPA member parliaments in representing the rights and interests of the people.

He acknowledged that the parliaments were playing an important role in bridging the people and the governments.

He spoke of the important mandates of the parliaments in considering critical issues, lawmaking and amendments, which was proven in the fact that laws and regulations of Asean member countries have been increasingly aligned.

The parliaments’ important role is also to consider ratifying various treaties signed among Asean countries.

For these reasons, the president said the parliaments had contributed significantly in fostering cooperation within Asean and between Asean and their external partners, which had enabled them to gain a number of benefits.

The 35th AIPA provided an opportunity for the delegates to discuss important issues to boost cooperation among the AIPA member parliaments, President Choummaly said.

As the Asean member states are striving to establish the Asean community by 2015, the Lao president said the 35th AIPA, which is being run under the theme ‘Strengthening Parliamentary Cooperation in the Asean Community Building’, was significant and coincided with the important time.

“I am confident that the outcome of this AIPA will contribute to increasing the cooperation of AIPA and relevant sectors of Asean in order to contribute to the Asean community integration, which comprises of three pillars,” he told the guests. The three pillars are the Asean Political-Security Community, Asean Economic Community and Asean Socio-Cultural Community.

As Asean member states are in the discussion process to draft a post-2015 vision, President Choummaly told the delegates that he hoped the outcomes of the 35th AIPA would contribute to the drafting effort.

Laos will resume presidency of Asean for the second time in 2016, the first year after the Asean community is set to be established.

The president expressed his confidence that Laos would continue to receive support from Asean member countries, AIPA, dialogue partners, friendly countries and regional and international organisations.

On this occasion, President Choummaly told the delegates that Laos had consistently adhered to its foreign policy of peace, independence, friendship and cooperation.

He informed the guests that Laos had enjoyed political stability and social order since the Lao People’s Democratic Republic was proclaimed in 1975, with living conditions of the people also gradually improving.

Source: Vientiane Times
Published on September 18, 2014