Together, ASEAN will become stronger
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) Puan Maharani drew attention to four strategic issues of concern at the 44th General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA).

During the general assembly's opening ceremony in Jakarta on Monday, Maharani firstly highlighted the importance of strengthening the commitment of AIPA to maintaining solidity among member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

"In the midst of various issues being faced by each country, we need to continue affirming our commitment to ensuring that ASEAN countries will help and strengthen each other. Together, ASEAN will become stronger," she remarked.

Secondly, Maharani underscored the need for AIPA to ensure that the interests of ASEAN will always be taken into account by global actors in deliberation processes to overcome global issues amid the increasing tension of rivalries among major powers.

"A global commitment is of the essence to overcome issues related to poverty, inequality, globalization, gender, health, education, and environment," she pointed out.

Furthermore, Maharani noted that the third issue concerned the urgency of AIPA to continue pushing the world to resolve priority issues of common interest, such as matters related to the need to build a just global economic order and mitigate climate change effects.

"The global economic order must provide an opportunity to every country to prosper. With regard to climate change, it should be noted that the United Nations has stated that the world has entered the era of global boiling and not merely global warming anymore," she affirmed.

Maharani noted that the final issue was related to the need to ensure that dialogues between AIPA countries and observer nations will pave the way to develop preventive diplomacy.

"This forum is being participated by representatives from parliaments of 18 observer and guest countries that are partnering with AIPA. Their participation certainly demonstrates that this general assembly serves as the leading inclusive inter-parliamentary diplomacy platform in the region," the speaker affirmed.

She then expressed optimism that the 44th AIPA General Assembly would provide opportunities to parliaments in Southeast Asia to affirm their commitment to responding to various regional and global challenges and issues.

"The 44th AIPA General Assembly is being held while the world is facing various challenges and issues that need to be resolved for the sake of bringing peace and prosperity to the world," she affirmed.

Maharani, who chaired the general assembly, reminded that in future, the world will face even more complex geopolitical dynamics that might coerce the global community to accept various new conditions as normal.

Bearing that in mind, she invited parliaments of ASEAN countries to fortify their solidity in a bid to preserve the conducive situation for the sake of realizing the dream of making Southeast Asia a peaceful, advanced, and prosperous region.

"ASEAN is strong because it is united. ASEAN is united because it is strong. One ASEAN family; together, we are one," she remarked.

President Joko Widodo inaugurated the 44th AIPA General Assembly in Jakarta on Monday.

Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Speaker Bambang Soesatyo, and Chairperson of the DPR Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Agency (BKSAP) Fadli Zon joined Maharani during the opening ceremony.

The 44th AIPA General Assembly is taking place in Jakarta from Monday to Wednesday (August 9) and drawing participation from 568 delegates, including speakers of the parliaments of nine ASEAN countries: Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Moreover, representatives from 18 observer and guest countries as well as nine international organizations are joining the event.

The 44th edition of the general assembly is carrying the theme of "Responsive Parliaments for a Stable and Prosperous ASEAN."

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Translator: Melalusa S, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Sri Haryati
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