Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Tòng Thị Phóng (third from left, first row) attends the first plenary session of the ongoing 28th meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Canberra, Australia
CANBERRA — Multilateral parliamentary diplomacy plays an important role amidst rapid and complex developments in regional and global situations, Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Tòng Thị Phóng has said.
Addressing the first plenary session of the ongoing 28th meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF 28) in Australia on Tuesday, Phóng said “multilateral parliamentary diplomacy creates dialogue opportunities, helps build trust and prevents conflicts through respect for international law and the United Nations Charter”.
She suggested promoting parliamentary partnership in 2020 by enhancing mutual trust, understanding and respect, and expanding the partnership between the APPF and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum, the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and international organisations.
These efforts aim to create more resources and step up co-operation in addressing conflicts and disputes in the spirit of dialogue, openness, construction and mutual support, in line with international law, the legislator said, stressing the need for self-restraint and avoiding actions that violate international law and may escalate tensions.
Phóng called on APPF parliaments to work with governments, paying more attention to sustainable development and making sustainable, inclusive development the regular and long-term orientation for the sake of all sides.
On this occasion, the Vietnamese legislature proposed organising inter-parliamentary co-operation activities for sustainable development in 2020 when Việt Nam serves as Chair of the AIPA.
In the framework of the APPF 28, the Vietnamese NA delegation has participated in meetings on politics-security, economy-trade and the meeting of female parliamentarians.
On the sidelines of the APPF 28, Vice Chairwoman Phóng met with Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives Tony Smith.
She took the occasion to express sympathy to Australia over losses caused by wildfires in the country.
Phóng said Việt Nam saw its strategic partnership with Australia as important.
She thanked Australia for backing Việt Nam’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council in the 2020-21 tenure, saying she hoped the two countries would continue their collaboration and mutual support in regional and international issues.
Regarding bilateral legislative ties, she said the two sides should enhance the efficiency of the two friendship parliamentarians’ groups, as well as the sharing of working experience between their parliamentarians.
Phóng conveyed Vietnamese NA Chairperson Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân’s invitation to the Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives to attend the 41st General Assembly of the AIPA as an observer parliament. The event is scheduled to be hosted by Việt Nam in late August.
Smith highlighted thriving relations between Việt Nam and Australia over the years and said Việt Nam held an important position in the hearts of Australians.
He said co-operation in economy, trade, national defence and security was very important to bilateral ties.
He agreed with the guest on the need to promote relations between the two parliaments and friendship parliamentarians’ groups. — VNS