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Indonesia’s AIPA presidency highlights regional cooperation and Myanmar crisis resolution

Puan Maharani, the Speaker of Indonesia’s People’s Consultative Assembly and 44th President of AIPA, highlighted the importance of international cooperation in tackling global challenges at the 44th AIPA General Assembly.

She stressed AIPA’s role in addressing various issues through regional collaboration, particularly emphasizing peace efforts in Myanmar.

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INDONESIA: Puan Maharani, the Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly of the Republic of Indonesia and the 44th President of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) emphasized the significance of international collaboration in addressing global challenges.

Speaking at the opening of the 44th AIPA General Assembly held in Jakarta on Sunday (6 Aug), Puan Maharani underscored AIPA’s role in tackling various challenges through regional cooperation.

“In this regard, AIPA can contribute to addressing these various challenges,” she stated in a press release.

Hosting the AIPA General Assembly, themed “Responsive Parliaments for a Stable and Prosperous ASEAN,” marks a pinnacle of Indonesian leadership in inter-parliamentary organizations in Southeast Asian nations.

During the event, Chairwoman Puan emphasized the pivotal role of parliaments in facing multidimensional crises, urging them to contribute to regional issue resolution, and maintaining ASEAN Centrality.

(Picture: the documentary of the People’s Consultative Assembly of the Republic of Indonesia)

AIPA Chairwoman advocates citizen-centric diplomacy and urges collective action for Myanmar peace

As a representative of the people, she reminded AIPA member parliaments to prioritize citizens’ aspirations and well-being.

Notably, this includes engagement in international issues with a direct impact on constituents, aligning with AIPA’s commitment to peace and prosperity in Southeast Asia.

Puan explained that future geopolitical dynamics will grow increasingly complex, necessitating AIPA’s role in finding common ground amidst member states’ differences.

One of the key topics addressed during the assembly was the situation in Myanmar. Puan Maharani reaffirmed Indonesia’s commitment to fostering peace in Myanmar and called on all ASEAN member parliaments to actively participate in encouraging Myanmar to implement the Five Point Consensus (5PC), a framework agreed upon by ASEAN leaders in April 2021 to guide Myanmar’s path out of its political crisis.

“Regarding Myanmar, Indonesia’s position clearly prioritizes peace there. In the AIPA forum, all ASEAN countries also urge for the establishment of peace in Myanmar in accordance with the agreed-upon agreements,” stated Puan to the media at Fairmont, Jakarta, on Sunday (6 Aug).

The Five Point Consensus is a decision by ASEAN leaders made during a meeting in Jakarta on 24 April 2021, less than two months after Myanmar’s military junta, led by General Min Aung Hlaing, staged a coup against the civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

According to records from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, nearly 3,000 people have been killed and more than 17,000 have been arrested in Myanmar since the military coup against the civilian government on 1 February 2021.

The Five Point Consensus comprises five main principles: the cessation of violence, constructive dialogue among all parties, the facilitation of dialogue by ASEAN special envoys with support from the ASEAN Secretary-General, encouragement of the implementation of the ASEAN consensus, and the provision of humanitarian assistance through the ASEAN Coordination Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Centre).

“Parliaments, through the networks they possess at both regional and international levels, have a strategic role in contributing to efforts to find solutions for the crisis in Myanmar,” Puan further said.

The 44th AIPA General Assembly began on Saturday (5 Aug) and was officially inaugurated by the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo (Jokowi), at the Fairmont Hotel in Senayan, Central Jakarta, on Monday (7 Aug).

Jokowi was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi. The assembly was attended by representatives from 18 observer and guest countries, as well as representatives from 9 international organizations. The total number of participants present was 568 delegates.

The AIPA General Assembly also scheduled dialogues with the parliaments of observer countries. Puan expressed her hope that the dialogue between AIPA members and observer countries could bridge differences and build potentially fruitful relationships for the development of preventive diplomacy.

“The dialogue between AIPA member parliaments and observer countries is expected to bridge differences and establish predictability in relationships among major powers in the region.”

Chairwoman of the Indonesian Parliament, Puan Maharani, also President of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) (center), during a press conference after leading the AIPA Executive Committee Meeting in Jakarta on Sunday, August 6, 2023.

Parliamentarians’ crucial role in crisis resolution and regional cooperation

Puan Maharani also emphasized the need for parliamentarians to play a strategic role in finding solutions to crises, particularly in Myanmar.

She expressed hope that AIPA’s efforts would culminate in a joint communique that reflects the strong commitment of parliaments to be part of the solution and provide recommendations for resolving the various crises faced by the region.

Puan led the AIPA Executive Committee Meeting held on Sunday (6 Aug) afternoon, which marked the first session of the 44th AIPA General Assembly and signified its commencement.

The meeting was attended by 9 Heads of Delegation from AIPA member states, parliament members, and AIPA Secretary-General Siti Rozaimeriyanty Dato Haji Abdul Rahman. The Executive Committee meeting during the 44th AIPA General Assembly also endorsed agendas for the Political, Economic, Social, Organizational, Women’s, and Youth Committees.

Beyond the Myanmar crisis, the 44th AIPA General Assembly covered a range of critical issues, including efforts to promote green economies through renewable energy, enhancing political participation, and youth involvement in politics. The assembly also discussed the importance of managing geopolitical tensions to ensure regional stability.

In conclusion, Puan Maharani highlighted the significance of AIPA in fostering regional stability, promoting economic growth, and enhancing the well-being of Southeast Asian populations. As the assembly concluded its discussions, expectations were high for the adoption of a joint communique and draft resolutions from the various committees, reinforcing ASEAN solidarity and cooperation.

As regional challenges persist and international dynamics evolve, the 44th AIPA General Assembly remains a testament to the importance of parliamentary diplomacy and collaboration in navigating complex global issues.

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