In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s reporters in Bangkok, Chuan Leekpai extended his deepest appreciation to Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan for the success in her tenure as the AIPA Chair.

“Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan has shown her tireless efforts, wise counsel and perseverance,” he said, stressing that in the past year, the achievement of all AIPA activities would not have been possible without the Vietnamese top legislator at the helm.

Chuan Leekpai, President of the National Assembly of Thailand (Photo: VNA)

To illustrate, he said, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed the global health security threat to humanity throughout the region. In the most difficult moment, the Vietnamese legislature has made every effort not only to deal with the spread of COVID-19 but also to hold three significant AIPA conferences.

Highlighting the great success of these meetings in times of the global health crisis, Chuan Leekpai said all the success of AIPA would not have been possible without excellent management by the AIPA staff of the Vietnamese NA.

He suggested AIPA-41 focus its agenda on how to promote parliamentary diplomacy among the countries in the region as a complementary tool to move the community forward to achieve sustainable development in all areas, in line with the event’s theme of “Parliamentary Diplomacy for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community”.

According to the Thai legislator, AIPA has demonstrated its role as a key parliamentary organisation for the deliberation of regional issues, which illustrates vividly the power of parliamentary diplomacy in ASEAN. This goes in line with the global trend of international parliamentary diplomacy by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, he said.

He stressed it is necessary to reaffirm the role and the support of ASEAN parliaments in the ASEAN community building process and also emphasize the significance of parliamentary diplomacy for peace, security and stability amidst rapid and complex developments in regional and global situations to reinforce ASEAN’s centrality in regional and world affairs.

Chuan Leekpai said he believes that all AIPA members are willing to exchange experience or best practices with the floor in order to strengthen the connectivity as well as mutual understanding within the region.

Asked about Thailand’s message to the meeting, he said Thailand would like to exchange ideas with AIPA colleagues on how to tackle the difficulties during the pandemic.

According to the Thai top legislator, members of parliaments should stay connected to the people in order to get to know what they want and find the way to respond to those matters properly.

He said within the region, a closer inter-parliamentary cooperation is necessary; exchanging new-normal knowledge or best practices to cope with any difficulties in the period of pandemic should be promoted.

ASEAN unity could be essentially strengthened through the harmonisation of laws of the member states, he said./.

CPV (Source: VNA)