APPF lawmakers chalk out ways for regional cooperation

The 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-26) engaged in an important discussion on regional cooperation and development issues during the third plenary session on January 20 morning.


APPF lawmakers chalk out ways for regional cooperation, Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong greets APPF-26 delegation heads, APPF-26's final plenary session focuses on regional cooperation

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam speaks at the third plenary session, APPF-26 (Source: APPF-27 organiser)


"Climate change, rising sea levels are no longer potential risks, but rather clear and present danger," Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam opened his keynote address. ‘Right in Hanoi, just last summer, temperatures reached record highs in the past four decades.’

"If the sea level rises 1 metre, roughly 40 percent of the Mekong River Delta will be underwater. Vietnamese current rice production here is at 12 million tonnes per year (export of six million tonnes), roughly 10 – 12 percent of our population will be directly impacted, with a loss of 10 percent of GDP," he went on to say.

The Deputy PM called on every country in the region to develop a legal framework, systems of regulations, policies and priority resources to respond to climate change. "We must make it so that all of society, everyone understands and start from what seems like small and simple acts to tasks that require technology and major resources such as gradual reduction in the use of fossil fuels, development of renewable, clean energy with the aim of developing low carbon economy and fostering green growth," he said.

Speaking of resources for sustainable development, Dam suggested the APPF parliaments to formulate legal systems that clearly specify the rights and responsibilities of organisations, individuals; give priority to resources for implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); mainstream SDG issues into public expenditure programmes; and strengthen private investments, public private partnerships for SDGs.

The Deputy PM later emphasised the importance of cooperation among parliaments as the legislative bodies have the final say in many pressing issues across nations.

He also lauded the role of the APPF which has proven its relevance in regional issues, promoted reforms to better adapt to changing regional and global developments, continued to build on parliamentary diplomacy to supplement the effective implementation of cooperation programmes with other regional mechanisms, including APEC.

APPF lawmakers chalk out ways for regional cooperation, Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong greets APPF-26 delegation heads, APPF-26's final plenary session focuses on regional cooperation

An overview of the third plenary meeting of APPF-26 (Source: APPF-26 organiser)




The third plenary session addressed three key dimensions of regional cooperation, namely climate change response, resources for sustainable development, and culture-tourism cooperation.

Representing the Vietnamese delegation, Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Uong Chu Luu proposed the lawmakers promote the APPF role in assisting the implementation of work items under the national programmes on responding to climate change; strengthening the development of policies, international law and monitor law enforcement related to climate change; and reserving priority for the allocation of resources and funding that responds to climate change in economic development and major national investment projects.

Luu also urged the APPF to promote international cooperation in disaster preparedness and increase dialogue, information and experience sharing in promoting the implementation of the Paris Agreement in the Asia-Pacific.

Senator Loren B. Legarda, Chairperson of the Philippines’ Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and Senate Committee on Climate Change, urged parliaments to ensure policies issued along with proper budgets and inspections so that they would be effective in alleviating climate change impacts in line with the Paris Agreement.

She suggests the region work to turn itself from an area vulnerable to climate change into a self-reliant against natural disasters via scientific research, and cooperation in finance, technology transfer, experience sharing, and capacity building.

She said the Asia-Pacific should build a common legal framework on climate change to strengthen regional commitments in the arena. 

Stephen Patrick John, Member of Australia’s Parliament, said the Australian Government supports the APEC 2017 declaration on sustainable development and the promotion of public awareness on tourism role in boosting growth.

Noting that most of the five biggest markets of Australia’s tourism sector are located in Asia-Pacific, he said the country backs the opening of directs air routes, and developing tourism infrastructure.

He stressed the importance of having measures to protect future tourism sites and specific mechanisms for tourism management. 

The final plenary session on the future of the APPF will take place in the afternoon.

Founded in Tokyo, Japan in 1993, the 27-member APPF is a mechanism that enables parliamentarians to discuss issues of common concern, and to deepen their understanding of the region and the interests and experience of its diverse members. The forum’s proceedings address political, security, economic, social and cultural issues, thus furthering regional cooperation and building relations between and among parliamentarians from the Asia-Pacific region.

APPF-26's final plenary session focuses on regional cooperation


APPF lawmakers chalk out ways for regional cooperation, Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong greets APPF-26 delegation heads, APPF-26's final plenary session focuses on regional cooperation

At the session 


The 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-26) entered the last working day on January 20 with a plenary session on regional cooperation in the morning.

Delegates are scheduled to debate ways to enhance joint action responding to climate change and foster cultural and tourism cooperation in the region, and talk about resources for sustainable development. 

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech to address these issues.

The final plenary session will take place in the afternoon, revolving around the future of the APPF. 

It will discuss how to improve the role of the APPF in promoting partnership for sustainable development and inclusive growth in the Asia-Pacific, and decide whether the amendment to the new APPF Rules of Procedure to the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians is adopted. 

The amendment is proposed by the Japanese delegation this year, seeking approval for the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians to become a permanent feature of the event.

The final session will also see the announcement of the host of the APPF-27 and adoption of Resolutions and a Joint Declaration, followed by the closing ceremony.

Founded in Tokyo, Japan in 1993, the APPF now gathers 27 members, namely Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.

It is a mechanism that enables parliamentarians to discuss issues of common concern, and to deepen their understanding of the region and the interests and experience of its diverse members. The forum’s proceedings address political, security, economic, social and cultural issues, thus furthering regional cooperation and building relations between and among parliamentarians from the Asia-Pacific region.

International delegates praise APPF-26’s theme


APPF lawmakers chalk out ways for regional cooperation, Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong greets APPF-26 delegation heads, APPF-26's final plenary session focuses on regional cooperation

Delegates at the opening ceremony 



Delegations from member parliaments of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) have praised the theme set by Vietnam for the forum’s ongoing 26th Annual Meeting, as well as the country’s organisation work.  

The theme for APPF-26, which is “Parliamentary Partnership for Peace Innovation and Sustainable Development”, reflect the development trend of parliamentary diplomacy in the world, especially at multilateral forums; as well as countries’ common concerns which are peace, stability, and sustainable development. 

According to Alexander O’Connor from Fiji’s delegation, the agenda under the theme are highly practical and suitable for all countries in the region and the world, especially issues related to gender equality for women and children. 

Meanwhile, Mastura Mohd Yazid from Malaysia and Yoshiko Kira from Japan said the theme is very useful in defining the direction for a new vision of the APPF and a common future for all countries and their people. 

APPF member parliaments should join hands to realise the goals of peace, innovation and sustainable growth, they said. 

Japan hopes discussions at the event will give rise to more voices contributing to regional development and peace, Yoshiko Kira said.

Vietnam’s preparation work for the APPF -26 also left good impression on many delegates.

The APPF was officially formed in Tokyo, Japan, in 1993. 

The forum now gathers 27 members: Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, the RoK, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.

The APPF is a mechanism that enables parliamentarians to discuss issues of common concern, and to deepen their understanding of the region and the interests and experience of its diverse members. The forum’s proceedings address political, security, economic, social and cultural issues, thus furthering regional cooperation and building relations between and among parliamentarians from the Asia-Pacific region.

Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong greets APPF-26 delegation heads


APPF lawmakers chalk out ways for regional cooperation, Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong greets APPF-26 delegation heads, APPF-26's final plenary session focuses on regional cooperation

Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong greets APPF-26 delegation heads 



General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong hosted in Hanoi on January 19 the Chairmen, Vice Chairmen and delegation heads of the member parliaments of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), who are in Vietnam for the forum’s 26th Annual Meeting.

He lauded the APPF-26 theme on “promoting parliamentary partnership for peace, innovation and sustainable development”, saying it reflects the priorities of the region, meeting the aspiration and benefits of the regional people.

Informing the delegates of Vietnam’s reform, development orientations and foreign policy, the Party chief affirmed that Vietnam is consistently pursuing a policy of peace, independence, self-reliance, cooperation and development, and being a friend of all nations and a responsible member of the international community.

He extended his thanks to the parliaments, governments and people of the regional nations for the support they have provided for Vietnam over the past years, adding that Vietnam hopes to continue strengthening the friendship and cooperation with all of them.

The guests expressed their admiration at Vietnam’s economic achievements and the improvements in its people’s living conditions, and praised the sound leadership of the CPV as well as Vietnam’s position in the international arena.

They expressed their delight at the fruitful cooperation with Vietnam over the past time, hoping for enhanced bilateral relations with Vietnam in the future.

President Tran Dai Quang hosts IPU leaders


APPF lawmakers chalk out ways for regional cooperation, Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong greets APPF-26 delegation heads, APPF-26's final plenary session focuses on regional cooperation

President Tran Dai Quang (R) receives IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron 



President Tran Dai Quang has affirmed that Vietnam’s achievements in 2017 cannot be separated from effective cooperation and support from countries and international organisations, including the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and regional inter-parliamentary organisations.

Quang made the remark at a reception on January 19 for an IPU delegation led by President Gabriela Cuevas Barron, who are in Hanoi to attend the the 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-26).

He said that the presence of IPU’s President Barron, former President Saber Chowdhury and Secretary General Martin Chungong at the APPF-26 is a great encouragement and support for Vietnam and its National Assembly (NA) in particular.

APPF-26 is the most important parliamentary diplomatic and political event of Vietnam in 2018, President Quang stated, adding that assuming the role as APPF President and hosting the meeting this year show the Vietnamese NA’s increasing role and prestige in regional and international parliamentary diplomatic activities, following the success of its hosting of the 132nd IPU Assembly (IPU-132) in 2015 and the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in 2017.

The President took the occasion to announce that the Vietnamese State decided to present the Friendship Order to Saber Chowdhury and Martin Chungong in recognition of their contributions to the relationship between Vietnam and the IPU.

Congratulating Vietnam on its impressive achievements, IPU President Barron stressed that Vietnam is now one of the countries leading in economic growth and inclusive development and has a strong voice in free trade.

She said Vietnam impressed IPU member parliaments through the successful organisation of the IPU-132 and the APEC Year 2017.

She proposed an idea of organising the World e-Parliament Conference and the Meeting of Female Parliamentarians in Vietnam.

President Quang welcomed the IPU leader’s initiative, hoping that both sides will maintain effective cooperation to make the idea come true.

VNA

APPF lawmakers chalk out ways for regional cooperation, Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong greets APPF-26 delegation heads, APPF-26's final plenary session focuses on regional cooperation
 
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