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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   15 May 2013  

AIPA Pledges Support for ASEAN Community Building Efforts Attention to Green Growth while Narrowing the Development Gap

The delegates from the ASEAN legislatures held active discussions  at the 5th Caucus Meeting of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on 12 – 13 May 2013. The Caucus is mandated to recommend legislative initiative to harmonize the law of ASEAN countries in the areas of common interest. The Caucus discussed the progress made by each ASEAN Member States in implementing Resolutions adopted at the 33rd AIPA General Assembly in Lombok, Indonesia in 2012. Best practices in the various member states on Green Growth and Poverty Reduction for Sustainable Development were also shared.

During the discussion session, the meeting discussed the three aspects of Green Growth, namely the building of Green Growth legislative capacity; the improvement of the national Green Growth implementation capacity through monitoring, verification and reporting; and the possible integration of joint Green Growth initiative, in particular the Low Carbon Instruments in the ASEAN region. Pertaining to topic of Poverty Reduction, the meeting focused the discussion on 5 aspects, namely poverty reduction policy mainstreaming process; the coordination in implementing poverty reduction policies/programmes, the application of multi-dimensional poverty approach in national policies, international and national resources mobilization for poverty reduction and national coping strategies during economic crisis to support the poor.

“The recommendations at this meeting are important inputs for the 34th AIPA General Assembly in Brunei Darussalam,” said Mr Tran Van Hang, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. “Sustainable development is a goal that many countries in the world as well as AIPA members have been striving for. ASEAN parliamentarians have been maximizing their significant roles in law-making, policy-planning, and incorporating the international commitments in sustainable development into domestic laws,” he noted.

Speaking at the opening of the Caucus a day earlier, ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh had briefed the meetings on the efforts, challenges, action plans regarding green growth, as well as efforts to tackle this two big issues. He also commended AIPA’s contribution towards the realisation of the ASEAN Community by 2015. He remained optimistic that the 5th AIPA Caucus would be contributing to the enhancement of related legislative and policy initiatives in the region, as well as to the sharing of best practices in the two aforesaid areas in order to improve the citizens' living quality and sustain the national ecosystems.

Host Viet Nam had gave a lot of thought in organising the Caucus.

The highland city of Da Lat was the perfect meeting site. This cool, green city - which is also known as the city of thousands of pines – is a reminder of the many natural  treasures which ASEAN Member States must strive to protect, even when we pursue economic growth and jobs for our people. A popular summer get away for past imperial regimes, Da Lat’s elegant mansions and beautiful hotels completes a serene, beautiful getaway that is vastly different from many bustling ASEAN cities.  The city does not have traffic lights. As you breathe in the cool, crisp air in the chilly morning, you just wonder how the residents manage when many smaller towns and cities are bursting with traffic.

Our young, enthusiastic Liaison Officers is another reminder that policies today will convert into legacies for subsequent generations. Despite their hectic and tiring schedules for the two days, the youngsters delighted their guests, with three beautiful and charming dances. Their charm and good nature were infectious. By the end of the Gala dinner, virtually every guest – regardless of office – were thoroughly “infected” and joined  their young hosts in the singing and dancing.

By the end of the evening, some of us do have one regret. And that is we wished the Caucus had lasted longer than the three short days. We have been smitten by Da Lat.

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AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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