That ASEAN plays a central role in the region and is the driver of regional and international cooperation is not only a pillar supporting Vietnam but also its goal, according to Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong.
“Vietnam’s foreign policy of openness, multilateralization and diversification of foreign relations for peace, amity, cooperation and development bears close resemblance to ASEAN’s,” Mr. Trong said in his welcome remarks at the opening ceremony of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) themed “Parliamentary diplomacy for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN”, which was held online for the first time from Hanoi.
According to Mr. Trong, this illustrates the resolve of the National Assembly of Vietnam and Member Parliaments to join hands in solidarity to overcome difficulties, promote cooperation and development of the ASEAN community.
The world and the Southeast Asian region are witnessing rapid and extraordinarily profound changes, particularly due to the Covid-19 pandemic and strategic competition among major powers, Mr. Trong asserted.
Additionally, globalization, connectivity and international integration are also faced with numerous difficulties, requiring adjustment to adapt to the new circumstances, he added.
The whirlwind development of science and technology, as well as the digital transformation process across the globe present counties with both opportunities and challenges.
“In that context, the ASEAN community and AIPA in particular should underscore the importance of cohesion and resilience to responds to the new situation, and to meet the ever-rising aspirations of our people, businesses and international friends,” Mr. Trong stressed.
“The success of the ASEAN community depends very much on our ability to serve and meet the demands and practical benefits of our people,” he noted.
Now, more than ever, is the time for AIPA to continue its efforts to contribute to ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture, promote multilateralism, connectivity, international cooperation, absolute respect for the rule-of-law, for peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world.
The 41st AIPA General Assembly has critical importance in that it contributes to the realization of the ASEAN community vision 2025 and beyond.
“It also provides us the opportunity to more effectively respond to the complex changes in the global and regional situation, as well as the unprecedented challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Mr. Trong concluded.
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