APPF-26: Vietnam’s major diplomatic event in 2018

The 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-26), hosted by the National Assembly (NA) of Vietnam, is one of the country’s major diplomatic events amid its extensive and intensive international integration.


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NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan at the plenary meeting of the APPF-26


Together with the successful hosting of the APEC Year 2017, the APPF-26, which opened in the capital city of Hanoi on January 18, is making significant contributions to the nation’s diplomatic achievements.

It forms part of the efforts to implement Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation of relations, active integration into the world, maintaining a peaceful and stable environment, creating favourable conditions for national construction and protection as well as strengthening Vietnam’s position and prestige in the international arena.

Enhancing partnerships between Vietnamese and APPF member parliaments

According to Nguyen Van Giau, Chairman of the Vietnamese NA’s Committee for External Relations, more than 350 delegates from APPF member nations have registered to attend the four-day meeting.

The APPF-26 is an opportunity for the Vietnamese NA to strengthen diplomatic relations and partnerships with its regional counterparts via bilateral meetings with delegations during their stay in Hanoi, including those from the world’s powers such as the US, Russia, China, Japan, Canada and Australia. The event also helps affirm the Vietnamese NA’s role and reputation at regional and international inter-parliamentary forums.

Having recognized the importance of partnerships between Vietnam and Asia-Pacific nations, over the past 20 years, the Vietnamese NA has made continuous, active and responsible contributions to the APPF, said Do Manh Hung, deputy head of the NA Office and head of the subcommittee for APPF-26 information and communications.

This is the second time Vietnam has hosted an APPF annual meeting after the APPF-13 in the northeastern coastal province of Quang Ninh in January 2005.

Since joining the APPF in January 1995, the Vietnamese legislature has constructively participated in the forum’s activities, reflected by its presence in all annual APPF meetings, and numerous proposals, many of which were accepted and included in the meetings’ documents.

At the APPF-14 in Indonesia in 2006, the joint declaration and other documents of the meeting contained Vietnam’s recommendations on enhancing collaboration between parliaments and governments of Asia-Pacific countries as well as between the APPF and the APEC, providing direct support for APEC activities. 

Meanwhile, during the APPF-18 in Singapore in 2000, and the APPF-19 in Mongolia in 2011, Vietnam raised initiatives regarding response to climate change and implementation of the UN millennium development goals, which were adopted at these meetings.

Building on APEC Year 2017’s outcomes

The APPF-26 is entrusted with a mission to orient member parliaments towards a shared future of bringing practical benefits to the regional countries and people. Therefore, the parliamentary mechanism also aims to boost effectiveness of the APEC forum.

According to Do Manh Hung, deputy head of the NA Office and head of the subcommittee for APPF-26 information and communications, one of the key agenda of the APPF-26 is to directly assist the APEC by upholding the success of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week 2017 in the central city of Da Nang.

In the framework of the event, the delegates are discussing economic cooperation in Asia-Pacific, share their views on and contribute to regional efforts toward the expansion of trade-investment engagement and sustainable development, Hung said.

They are also mulling over the parliaments’ role in boosting inclusive and extensive economic links, food security, sustainable agricultural production, gender equality and the development of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises in the digital age, Hung said, adding that these sub-topics are closely related to the APEC meeting’s agenda.

Elevating Vietnam’s position and image in the international arena

Hosting important multilateral diplomatic events, including the APPF-26 and APEC Year 2017, has sent a message of Vietnam as a nation of peace, stability, dynamism, and development, with friendly people, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, who is also Chair of APPF-26, told reporters in an interview before the APPF-26.

The APPF-26 is a highlight in the 14th NA’s foreign affairs in 2018. It presents an opportunity for the legislative agency to show its role and responsibility in the forum while popularising its image as a renovated, dynamic, active and responsible one in the eyes of international friends.

Vietnam’s initiatives and ideas put forth for the event have received approval and praise from international friends, affirming the country’s capability and performance in the process of extensive and intensive international integration, Ngan said.

Vietnam cares about the development of the world and pledges to join hands with the international community to implement common tasks for sustainable development, Ngan said, adding that the Vietnamese NA has paid attention to parliamentary diplomacy and contributed to development orientations of regional and international parliamentary forums.

The NA Chairwoman also hoped that international delegates to the APPF-26 would enjoy the beauty and peace of Hanoi, as well as the charm of culture and landscapes of Vietnam during their stay.

Vice Chairwoman of the State Duma of the Federal Asssembly of Russia Olga N. Epifanova told Vietnam News Agency correspondents about her first impression of Vietnam’s hosting APPF-26, saying that she loves every step of it, particularly the way Vietnam welcomed guests with an warm atmostphere.

On the sidelines of the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians, the first activity of the APPF-26, Stephenie Ritland, Attorney Advisor Federated States of Micronesia, lauded the initiatives Vietnam proposed for the event, including promoting gender equality and empower of women and girls for sustainable development and shared prosperity in the region, saying that this is an important topic to be included in this forum.

She also hailed the proactiveness of Vietnam and its NA in hosting the APPF-26, saying that Vietnam is taking great steps moving forwards and sets a great global example with a female NA leader.

The APPF was established on March 15, 1993, with the purpose of building trust among parliaments in the Asia-Pacific via the enhancement of dialogues between regional parliamentarians, thus contributing to regional peace, sustainability and prosperity.

The forum has become an important inter-parliamentary forum which gathers 27 member parliaments, 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 RoK, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.

Striving for peace, security named APPF urgent task


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Vice Chairman of Vietnam’s NA Do Ba Ty speaks at the event 



Striving for peace, security, cooperation and development is a major, standard, and urgent task for all Asia-Pacific Parliamantary Forum (APPF) members, said Vice Chairman of Vietnam’s National Assembly Do Ba Ty on January 19.

He made the remarks at the first plenary session on political and security matters of the 26th APPF meeting that is underway in Hanoi.

On behalf of the Vietnamese delegation, the NA Vice Chairman proposed the APPF parliaments should play an active role in building a law-based environment of regional peace, security. As legislative bodies, they need to institutionalize international committments into their domestic laws, increase monitoring of implementation of responsibilities and committments to international conventions and laws, he stressed.

The parliaments could also review, promulgate, and supplement relevant legal documents related to the promotion of mutual understanding and cooperation among countries on the basis of international law and UN principles, including respect for sovereignty, political independence, non-interference in the internal affairs of States, non-use of force or threat to use force, resolve international disputes by peaceful means, he said.

He urged the parliaments to work to turn sustainable development into a long-term and prevailing orientation for development policies and measures. ‘The APPF can take the lead in strengthening a free, open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based multilateral system,’ Ty suggested.

This year, Vietnam has prepared a draft resolution: “Promoting Parliamentary Diplomacy for peace, security and prosperity in the region and over the world” aimed at highlighting the role of parliaments in promoting observance of international law, supporting the peaceful resolution of disputes; urging greater cooperation, realising international commitments to respond to current common challenges; realise the priorities agreed to by member economies following APEC 2017 such as promoting inclusive, innovative, sustainable and equitable growth.

Besides the promotion of parliamentary diplomacy for peace, security and prosperity in the region and the world, the APPF-26’s first plenary session also looked into the fight against international terrorism and trans-border crime.

Participants pointed to risks posed by increasing trade protectionism and called on support and cooperation among the APPF members for trade liberalisation. 

Parliamentary diplomacy to end human rights violation and the settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue were also among the deliberated topics.

Fahri Hamzah, Vice Speaker of Indonesia’s House of Representatives, noted that global challenges require deeper discussions at the parliamentary level, adding that Indonesia has included parliamentary diplomacy in law-making process as a measure to boost the activity.

He said parliamentary diplomacy should play a greater role in addressing regional conflicts, particularly the Rohingya crisis.

Masazumi Gotoda, member of Japan’s House of Representatives, stressed the importance of dialogue particularly in the settlement of issues on the Korean peninsula.

Konstantin Kosachev, member of Russia’s parliament and Head of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, called for joint actions against the proliferation of chemical and mass-destruction weapon.

Lasting until January 21, the APPF-26 features four plenary sessions on the topics of politics-security, economics-trade, regional cooperation in Asia-Pacific, and the future of APPF. 

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.

APPF-26 debates economics-trade issues


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Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue speaks at the event


The second plenary session of the 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia – Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-26) took place on January 19 afternoon to discuss economic and trade matters.

In his keynote remarks, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said in over half a century, the Asia - Pacific has thrived to become a driver of global economic growth, thanks in part to extensive economic linkages and making the most of the potential, advantages, and the importance of the agricultural sector and the network of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

He noted that efforts to increase regional trade and economic integration have produce important result, including the signing and implementation of many bilateral and multilateral FTAs. 

“Vietnam has chosen international economic integration as the centre point of its efforts to actively integrate economically,” the Deputy PM said, adding that “the success of APEC 2017 in Vietnam is also a vivid manifestation of the vitality of cooperation and regional economic integration.”

Highlighting challenges posed by rising protectionism and differing views on integration and globalisation, Hue pointed to new cooperation areas such as value chains, integration, competition, e-commerce, saying they would bring about greater benefits from regional economic integration.

“We should take concrete actions to improve connectivity, similar to APEC’s and ASEAN’s initiative, focusing on three priorities: infrastructure, human, and institutions. Parliaments play an important part in this process as national legislative bodies,” the official stated.

Vietnam's Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son delivered a report on the results of the 2017 APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, which took place in the central city of Da Nang in November last year. 

Talking about the relationship between the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and APPF, Canadian Senator Yuen Paul Woo said to boost connectivity between the two forums, there is a need to develop a secretariat mechanism and each nation ought to put into actions agendas adopted at these forums.

He said countries should learn from Vietnam’ example of closely organising the two events so that their relevant points could be integrated together.    

At the session, participants focused on economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Their debate provided a parliamentary perspective on and contribution to efforts in the region targeting the expansion of trade, investment, peace, stability, prosperity and sustainable development, which revolves around the agenda of APEC Summit 2017.

They talked about the role of parliaments in promoting economic links intensively and comprehensively, food security and sustainable agricultural development, and support for MSMEs in the digital age.

Nurhayati Ali Assegaf, Chairperson of Indonesia’s Committee of Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation, suggested parliaments support the promotion of people-to-people diplomacy, opening of direct air routes, and simplification of visa procedures.  

She said gender equality promotion could have positive impact on GDP growth.

She suggested APPF members make efforts to improve the role of MSMEs and other economic sectors for extensive and equal economic integration.

Masazumi Gotoda, member of House of Representatives at the Nation Diet of Japan, said parliaments should play their inspection role to ensure the effective implementation of policies for economic growth related to currency and economic cooperation, among others. 

He also suggested the building of a high-quality workforce for the digital age, and women empowerment, noting that fair competition is necessary for free trade.

Australian Senator John Williams said food security should concern the quality of soil and water, which can foster better nutrient sources that help people become healthier.

He stressed the importance of sharing knowledge among nations for common benefits and prosperity.

The APPF-26 will mull over regional cooperation in Asia-Pacific, and the future of APPF in its last two plenary sessions on January 20.

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.

VNA

APPF-26: Vietnam’s major diplomatic event in 2018, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news
 
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