APPF Annual Meeting Officially Opens in Hanoi

4:40:18 PM | 19/1/2018

It is a great honour for Vietnam to host an APPF annual meeting for the second time and the country appreciates support from APPF members, said the National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan made this remark at the opening ceremony of the 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-26), which was held in Hanoi on January 18 evening.

The top legislator said that the APPF-26 takes place amid rapid and complex global changes that challenge sustainable development and living quality of each nation in the region.

She added that the context presents new tasks, making the building of the APPF’s new vision for the upcoming period after 25 years of development a major target of this annual meeting.

She said the vision must be based on effective parliamentary partnerships, which require stronger commitments to improving cooperative mechanisms within the APPF, and between the APPF and other regional institutions for peace, security, and inclusive and sustainable growth.

Joining the APPF in 1995, Vietnam has been always a proactive member and considered the forum an important channel to build trust and promote dialogues on political, security and cooperation matters in the Asia-Pacific, she noted.

NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said the hosting of the APPF-26 will contribute to introducing an active and dynamic image of the Vietnamese National Assembly. The event will mark a new development stage of the forum in carrying out a new vision on the Asia-Pacific parliamentary partnership for a peaceful and innovative APPF that is adaptable to regional and global changes, she added.

Addressing the ceremony, Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang stressed that the APPF has proved itself as a special mechanism for parliaments of the member states in promoting the trend of dialogue and cooperation in the region and the world on the basis of equality, mutual respect, and benefits and in line with international principles and laws.

It has promoted multilateral and multi-layered cooperation to solve common challenges, particularly the implementation of commitments with the United Nations in sustainable development and in response to climate change, he said.

The APPF members have supported the APEC´s efforts in fostering free trade and investment and regional comprehensive connectivity, the leader stressed. The APPF has promoted the Asia-Pacific as a hub of innovation and creativity and a pioneer in developing renewable energy and new-generation trade and investment deals that have brought practical benefits to their people and business communities and has lifted hundreds of millions people out of poverty.

President Tran Dai Quang outlined numerous challenges the region is facing, including growing protectionism, slower regional connectivity in some areas, wars and conflicts, poverty and impacts of climate change.

The President called on the forum to further foster multilateral partnership and build a common future for the Asia-Pacific, which can only be achieved by building a responsible parliamentary cooperation towards peace and sustainable development.

The APPF must also give top priority to maintaining peace and stability in the region and the world, accelerating dialogues and trust building and settling conflicts via peaceful means on the basis of international laws and standards, he said.

It should also focus on training skilled human resources, ensuring food, water and energy security, enhancing women business empowerment, supporting micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, engaging deeper in the global market and developing self-reliant and inclusive communities, President Quang stressed.

The APPF-26, themed “Parliamentary partnership for peace, innovation and sustainable development”, will enter the second working day on January 19 with two plenary sessions on politics-security and economics-trade matters.

The APPF was officially formed in Tokyo, Japan, in 1993. The forum now gathers 27 members. It 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 among parliamentarians from the Asia-Pacific region.