Jakarta (ANTARA) - Stability is a prerequisite for development and economic growth in Southeast Asia, according to Speaker of Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR) Puan Maharani.

"Stability is a prerequisite for development and economic growth in Southeast Asia. A peaceful, stable, and prosperous ASEAN will contribute to stability and global economic growth," Maharani remarked during her speech at the opening ceremony of the 44th ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) General Assembly in Jakarta on Monday.

Hence, Maharani noted that the AIPA would continue to strengthen and sharpen the commitment needed to maintain and ensure a conducive, peaceful, stable, and prosperous Southeast Asian region.

"The AIPA member parliaments will continue to encourage the political life of people in the Southeast Asian region to be more democratic, fulfill human rights, and strengthen the rule of law based on the uniqueness of each country," she affirmed.

Maharani noted that the foreign policy of each AIPA member country is carried out based on different national interests that did not prevent ASEAN member countries from having a commitment to coordinate in common interests.

"Parliamentary diplomacy can increase mutual understanding and build trust between countries in Southeast Asia," she stated.

Before chairing the 2023 AIPA, Maharani noted that the Indonesian Government, through its parliament, had become one of the centers of global and regional parliamentary diplomacy for two consecutive years.

"In 2022, the House of Representatives (DPR) led the 144th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly and the 8th G20 Parliamentary Speakers Summit 20 (P20)," she remarked.

Those efforts are aimed at increasing the contribution of the parliament in discussing various international issues, she stated.

"Because we learned that various international issues had a direct impact on the life of people, who voted for us," she added.

Maharani is optimistic that the AIPA would find a common ground for shared commitment amidst the differences between AIPA member countries regarding the dynamics of future geopolitical developments that will become increasingly complex.

"To handle this matter, I ask all of us to be more solid, look for similarities among ASEAN countries, and try to minimize differences," she emphasized.

The Opening Ceremony of the 44th AIPA General Assembly on Monday was officially opened by Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Other attendees at the event were Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, Speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Bambang Soesatyo, and DPR's Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Agency's (BKSAP's) Chairperson Fadli Zon.

The 44th AIPA General Assembly is being held on August 7-9, 2023, and attended by the parliamentary chairpersons of nine ASEAN members, namely Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The General Assembly was also attended by 18 observers and guest countries, as well as representatives of nine international organizations. A total of 568 delegates attended the general assembly.

The theme of the 44th AIPA General Assembly this year is "Responsive Parliaments for A Stable and Prosperous ASEAN" which marks the 7th time for DPR to host parliamentary sessions for countries in Southeast Asia.

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Translator: Melalusa Susthira K, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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