AIPA vows to effectively push & maintain peace and stability in ASEAN region

(Congress) Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) have resolved to make AIPA an effective vehicle to promote and maintain peace and stability in the region by working closely with the ASEAN in addressing regional concerns such as terrorism, the South China Sea and other maritime issues, illicit drug trafficking, and promotion of migrant workers’ rights, among others.
The commitment was contained in the AIPA Message delivered today by Philippine House of Representatives Speaker and AIPA President Pantaleon D. Alvarez during his remarks at the Interface of ASEAN heads of states and governments with AIPA parliamentarians held at the Philippine International Convention Center.

“We resolve to make AIPA an effective vehicle to promote and maintain peace and stability in the region. We will work closer with the respective legislatures of the ASEAN Member States to elicit greater participation of the people in implementing ASEAN initiatives and programs,” said Alvarez.

The AIPA Message was finalized last April 28, Friday by the AIPA delegates during their Preparatory Meeting which was presided by Alvarez and attended by delegates from the member-states of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines.

The message initially states that AIPA expresses support for the Philippines’ core message for positive changes in the community and ASEAN unity, along with the realization of its six thematic priorities, namely: people-oriented and people-centered ASEAN; peace and stability in the region; maritime security and cooperation; inclusive and innovation-led growth; ASEAN’s resilience; and, ASEAN as a model of regionalism and a global player.

”We proudly recognize the chairmanship of the Philippines of ASEAN under the theme ‘Partnering for Change, Engaging the World,’ as it celebrates its 50th Anniversary. We also are pleased to note that AIPA marks its 40 years of bringing ASEAN closer to the people. On the third ASEAN Parliamentarian Meeting held here in Manila in September 1977, ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization (or AIPO) was formally launched which later evolved into AIPA in 2007,” it said.

Alvarez said AIPA recognizes that ASEAN is as crucial as other international bodies for regional and international cooperation. “AIPA and ASEAN shall protect and preserve its own cultures, traditions and laws. The voices of Member- States with more than 600 million people in the region speaking as one, have a more effective voice that cannot be ignored,” said Alvarez.

Alvarez said their distinct cultures are anchored on shared origins and an intertwined history of trade, colonialism, and rise to self-determination, that fundamentally make them all part of the ASEAN family.

“As kin, we ought to look out for each other and, with the collective gains of our ASEAN brothers and sisters, build a future that is worthy of our shared history. It’s about time we build and focus on our region,” said the Speaker.

The AIPA in its message also reaffirmed its support for the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint to provide a solid foundation for regional dialogue.

“Multi-faceted security challenges such as terrorism, migration and humanitarian crises, among others, remain as major regional concerns. We cannot underscore enough the need for a culture of peace, respect and dialogue to bridge differences, defuse tension and counter extremism. ASEAN must strengthen its cohesiveness to build a more democratic, rules-based and inclusive community that shares the values of tolerance and moderation,” said Alvarez.

AIPA also underscored the importance of maintaining the South China Sea as a sea of peace, prosperity and cooperation. “We support the solution of territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means and to exercise self-restraint in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (or UNCLOS),” said Alvarez.

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