Speaking at the 44th General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) in Jakarta, he urged the parliaments of AIPA countries to lend full support to their respective governments and encourage them to affirm their commitment to strengthening democracy.
"We should be able to run a good governance, ensure the supremacy of law, as well as promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, in accordance with the mandate laid down in the ASEAN Charter," he stressed during the general assembly's first plenary session.
He then urged AIPA members to make all-out efforts to carry out their responsibilities of protecting their people and providing those residing in the Southeast Asian region with a peaceful and prosperous life.
"In addition, we are also responsible for guaranteeing freedom and (the protection of) human rights for ASEAN communities," he added.
Paulus pushed member countries to make AIPA a leading institution that can expand cooperation by involving all related stakeholders in the region in efforts to realize the ASEAN 2045 vision.
"In order to reach this end, we should opt for a more adaptive and future-oriented approach, rather than keep following the same routine or merely sticking to business as usual," he said.
Lastly, he added, AIPA parliaments should act in a more responsive and adaptive manner during national law formulation processes in the hope of producing laws that are more relevant for overcoming regional and global challenges.
Paulus stressed that such laws are essential to help ASEAN overcome existing challenges in the region, such as the condition of democracy in Myanmar, disputes in the South China Sea, the impacts of the Ukraine crisis, the Quad Initiative, and the Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) alliance.
"ASEAN has been criticized for its measures to handle the crisis in Myanmar. Our measures are deemed disappointing and led to an increased violence," he noted.
He then emphasized the importance of investing even greater efforts to promote the implementation of the principles of human rights, democracy, peace, security, and prosperity enshrined in the ASEAN Charter.
"AIPA must be able to take swift, accurate, and sustainable measures in order to ensure security and progress for our peoples, so they can keep living with hopes," he said.
President Joko Widodo officially inaugurated the 44th AIPA General Assembly at Fairmont Hotel in Jakarta on Monday.
Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Speaker Bambang Soesatyo, DPR Speaker Puan Maharani, and Chairperson of the DPR Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Agency (BKSAP) Fadli Zon, and Paulus joined the opening ceremony.
The 44th AIPA General Assembly, which is taking place in Jakarta from Monday to Wednesday (August 9, 2023), has drawn participation from 568 delegates, including speakers of the parliaments of 9 ASEAN countries: Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Representatives from 18 observer and guest countries as well as 9 international organizations have also joined the event.
The theme of the 44th edition of the general assembly is "Responsive Parliaments for a Stable and Prosperous ASEAN."
This year's AIPA General Assembly also marks DPR's seventh participation in the general assembly in the capacity of host and chair of AIPA, following Indonesia's chairmanship of ASEAN this year.
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Translator: Melalusa S, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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