YB PEHIN Orang Kaya Laila Setia Bakti Diraja Dato Laila Utama Hj Awg Isa bin Pehin Datu Perdana Manteri Dato Laila Utama Hj Awg Ibrahim, Speaker of the Legislative Council of Brunei Darussalam, has stressed upon the need to enhance regional cooperation in key areas such as politics and security, society and culture, as well as economic integration as the region pushes towards establishing the Asean Community in 2015.
The Speaker said this while attending the opening ceremony of the 35th General Assembly of Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) yesterday, which was held at the Donchan Palace Hotel, Lao PDR.
The ceremony was officiated by Madam Pany Yathotou, President of AIPA and President of the National Assembly of Lao PDR.
The ceremony was also attended by Thongsing Thammavong, Prime Minister of the Lao PDR who also gave a speech welcoming delegations.
YB Pehin Dato Laila Utama Hj Awg Isa said that unlike in the past, where issues of regional security dominated the Asean strategic landscape, the concern today has shifted to socio-economic matters especially on narrowing development gaps.
He said that even though considerable efforts are being made to address these issues, socio-economic disparities still exist in the region.
“Current impending challenges, particularly in poverty alleviation, require more effective strategies. Adding to that, innovative mechanisms on human resource development and capacity building need to be explored to ensure their relevance to future Asean aspirations,” he said.
Pehin Dato Laila Utama Hj Awg Isa also reminded that with just over one year remaining until the establishment of the Asean Community, this is the time for AIPA to complement Asean’s efforts in the Community’s establishment in 2015.
In welcoming the delegates, Madam Pany Yathotou also hopes that the discussions made during the 35th AIPA General Assembly will be able to create more efforts among the AIPA parliamentarians to enhance cooperation on the basis of their role as the representative of their peoples in the Asean Community building processes.
The event was attended by the Speakers of the Parliaments of AIPA, leaders from AIPA Member Parliaments and observer delegations, Secretary General of AIPA, Deputy Secretary General of Asean, Leader of the Delegation from the State Great Assembly of Mongolia, as well as representatives from the Great Assembly of Mongolia.