As representatives of the people, parliamentarians have the vital role to play in protecting the interest of the people, especially vulnerable groups.
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam said this in his message to regional parliamentarians attending the 43rd ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) organised by the National Assembly of Cambodia from November 20-25.
“The annual AIPA General Assembly,” His Majesty added, “is an excellent opportunity for parliamentarians to meet, discuss, exchange views and best practices on global and regional issues which are transnational in nature and put forward creative solutions to address these challenges collaboratively.
The monarch also said, “Moving forward, ASEAN and AIPA need to continue their outward-looking approach and uphold existing dialogues and cooperation with external partners to address shared challenges through multilateralism. It is also essential for AIPA to ensure continuous parliamentary dialogue and cooperation between our parliamentarians and work together to bring about more opportunities for all ASEAN citizens.”
His Majesty believed that the theme of this year’s General Assembly of the AIPA, ‘Advancing Together for a Sustainable, Inclusive and Resilient ASEAN’, “is timely as it brings attention to the need for ASEAN to enhance cooperation and work collaboratively for the benefit of our peoples”.
The monarch added, “I am pleased to note that the agenda for the 43rd AIPA General Assembly will highlight pertinent issues related to women in empowerment, youth, economy, social security as well as peace and stability in the region.
“As with many countries globally, Brunei Darussalam continues to respond to the pandemic and strives for recovery from it. Despite the unprecedented challenges brought about by COVID-19, it has also presented us with the opportunity to strengthen collaboration and solidarity to address issues of common concern and expedite actions to build back better together.”
Speaker of Legislative Council Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Lela Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Dato Setia Haji Mohamed Taib is leading the delegation from the Brunei Legislative Council at the AIPA.
During the meeting, he said, “Support, cooperation and partnership among all parties, including the legislative body in ASEAN, is essential in achieving the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.”
The theme for this year’s AIPA General Assembly is in line with the theme of the ASEAN summit, and coincides with the time when ASEAN member countries achieve the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
At the first plenary session, the Speaker of the Legislative Council delivered a statement highlighting the importance of unity and centrality in ensuring ASEAN is able to overcome and respond effectively to future challenges.
COVID-19’s impact on health, education and the economy is unpredictable and requires the utmost attention. Climate change, disaster management and food safety are the main challenges for parliaments that need to be addressed in meeting the needs of the people and population.
The AIPA General Assembly was officially opened by President of the National Assembly of Cambodia and the 43rd AIPA Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin.
In his opening speech, he said that to achieve a sustainable ASEAN region, it requires collective effort to obtain a recovery that promotes several things, including a resilient climate, transition to clean and renewable energy, green investment and green finance.
He emphasised the important role that the legislature plays in promoting development, environmental protection, economic development, inclusiveness and sustainability. A total of 37 resolutions were discussed and approved in the WAIPA, economic, social and organisational committees.
AIPA member country speakers also delivered speeches. The General Assembly National Meeting concluded with a joint communique signing.
Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Lela Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman was awarded the AIPA Distinguished Service Award for his service and commitment to AIPA, while Siti Rozaimeriyanty binti Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Abdul Rahman was appointed as AIPA Secretary General.