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Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum kicks off

Released at: 15:01, 19/01/2018

Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum kicks off

Photo from quochoi.vn

Forum to work on new vision for its future, among other key regional issues.

by Quang Huy

The 26th annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-26) kicked off in Hanoi on January 18, discussing the construction of its new vision for the future after 25 years of development.

This vision should be based on effective parliamentary partnerships, National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said at the opening ceremony, which require greater commitments to bettering cooperative mechanisms within the APPF and between the Forum and other regional institutions for peace, security, and inclusive and sustainable growth.

“The 21st century has witnessed the vigorous development of globalization, the digital technology revolution, and global value chains,” the senior legislator, who is also APPF Chair for 2017-2018, said. “This has transformed the global economy. Although it has recovered, there remains uncertainty and uneven development. The world is at an important turning point, which gives us new tasks and missions and requires we consolidate achievements.”

“The APPF allows the voice of our parliamentarians to be heard in regional and international matters,” she went on. “Promoting seamless regional economic integration is a top priority of global cooperation, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Also addressing the ceremony, State President Tran Dai Quang called for all 27 APPF members to effectively handle regional challenges, including growing protectionism, slower regional connectivity in some areas, wars and conflicts, poverty, and climate change.

“Over the past 25 years, the APPF has witnessed turning points in the world and also been part of this process,” President Quang said. “It has helped make the Asia-Pacific an innovation hub that was a pioneer in developing technology industries, new energy, trade, and investment, and this had benefited hundreds of millions of people.”

The Meeting of Women Parliamentarians of APPF-26 was held earlier on the same day, seeking ways to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls for sustainable development and shared prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

Part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s goals target gender issues and addressing the gender-based aspects of poverty, hunger, healthcare, education, employment, climate change, and more, Head of the Communist Party of Vietnam’s Central Committee’s Commission for Mass Mobilization, Ms. Truong Thi Mai, said.

“This strong focus on gender issues is recognition that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are key to each and every one of the goals,” Ms. Mai added, stressing that parliaments must play a key role at the national and international level to represent and advocate for women’s rights, exercise legislative power to contribute to extensive legal changes to ensure women´s rights in each jurisdiction, make sure budget allocations are gender-responsive, and monitor the implementation of relevant regulations, policies and important decisions related to gender equality.

On January 19, delegates to the four-day meeting, themed “Parliamentary Partnership for Peace, Innovation and Sustainable Development”, will focus discussions on politics, security, economic, and trade issues.

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

The APPF was officially formed in Tokyo, Japan, in 1993. Currently gathering 27 members, the Forum 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.

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