National Assembly Chairman calls on AIPA for more
The year of 2007 will prove to be the most important year in the ASEAN bloc's 40-year history if it is to knuckle down and build the Southeast Asian political and economic community that it aspires to be by 2015.
That was the opinion of Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong as he delivered a speech at the first plenary session of the 28th ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-28) in Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia , on August 20.
Chairman Trong, said "2007 is a significant year for southeast Asian countries. We celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the 30th anniversary of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization. This is an opportunity for countries to review our inter-governmental and inter-parliamentarian organizational works.
"The building of an ASEAN community is being completed with the drafting of the ASEAN charter - an important legal basis for cooperation among regional countries. By the end of December 2006, the group of politicians representing ASEAN member countries had completed a report on the ASEAN chapter and submitted it to the ASEAN leadership. However, some ASEAN member countries still hold their differences on the charter's content. More than ever, the principle of unity in diversification should be upheld during this important and challenging period for our group."
Chairman Trong went on to say, "With the efforts of our governments, ASEAN member countries' parliaments have markedly contributed to regional cooperation. Integration in the region is a heavy and complicated task that requires contributions by executive and legislative bodies as well as the participation of our public organizations."
Earlier, the Vietnamese President had sent a message to the AIPA-28, praising its work in drafting the ASEAN charter.
"Viet Nam supports the ASEAN leaders' decision to complete the building of the ASEAN community early by 2015. The work required to fulfill this monumental undertaking demands the concerted efforts of executive and legislative agencies. I am pleased to hear that AIPA has taken the right steps and initiatives on the path to building a strong ASEAN community that will benefit us all."
The State President stressed that other regional forums the world over had shown that in order to embark on the road to regional communities a solid and legal framework must be firmly entrenched as a cornerstone of the community if it wishes to be successful. (VNA)
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