INDONESIA: The 44th General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) commenced with great enthusiasm as President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) inaugurated the event at the Fairmont Senayan Hotel in Central Jakarta on Monday (7 Aug).
Joined by Puan Maharani, the Speaker of the Indonesian People’s Consultative Assembly (DPR RI), and AIPA Secretary-General Siti Rozaimeriyanty Dato Haji Abdul Rahman, President Jokowi formally opened the assembly by pressing the symbolic button.
“In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, I officially declare the 44th AIPA General Assembly open,” President Jokowi announced.
During his opening speech, President Jokowi stressed the significance of the people’s aspirations, quoting the opening phrase of the ASEAN Charter, “We the people,” signifying the importance of prioritizing the aspirations of ASEAN’s citizens.
He called upon AIPA members to always champion the interests of the ASEAN people. He also highlighted ASEAN’s substantial contributions to regional peace and stability over the past 56 years, emphasizing that these achievements must not lead to complacency.
President Jokowi emphasized the necessity for close cooperation and trust among ASEAN members to act as a driving force for peace and stability, highlighting the vital role of solidarity between governments, parliaments, and stakeholders.
He expressed his belief that through this solidarity, ASEAN can continue to play a central role and remain relevant on the global stage.
Furthering his address, President Jokowi underscored the need for ASEAN to work collectively towards equitable and just well-being for its people.
He expressed gratitude for the stable economic growth within ASEAN, which has been recognized as a key driver of global economic growth. As the Chair of ASEAN, Indonesia aspires to maintain ASEAN as a hub of global economic growth.
To achieve this goal, President Jokowi advocated for the strengthening of ASEAN’s economic integration, the removal of trade barriers within the ASEAN community, and the continual enhancement of mutually beneficial economic cooperation.
With the theme “Responsive Parliaments for a Stable and Prosperous ASEAN,” the Chairman of the Regional Cooperation Desk of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (BKSAP) in the Indonesian Parliament, Putu Supadma Rudana, highlighted the assembly’s main political objective: to promote regional stability and peace.
“We must be capable of independently addressing challenges in the ASEAN region to maintain political stability, security, and overall prosperity. The ASEAN region is strategically important and garners significant attention due to its vast potential,” Putu remarked on Monday (7 Aug).
Putu also outlined the key topics of discussion during the AIPA General Assembly, including deliberations on democracy in Myanmar, the realization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and efforts toward achieving a green economy.
The discussions would involve women parliamentarians and young parliamentarians within the AIPA as well.
Issues such as gender equality within the women’s committee, youth engagement within the youth committee, as well as discussions on politics, economy, social matters, and organizational issues within AIPA, would encompass topics such as palm oil and nickel, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Myanmar, SDGs, and green economy.
Putu added that as the AIPA Chair, Indonesia is pushing for the implementation of a five-point consensus to address the current situation in Myanmar, which is under military rule due to an undemocratic seizure of power.
“We indeed have the desire, the Indonesian Parliament, to invite the democratically elected parliament of Myanmar, namely the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH). Of course, we also need to consider other ASEAN countries. And naturally, we must respect the opinions of other ASEAN nations,” Putu stated.
The five-point consensus comprises the absence of violence and conflict, a return to peace, mediation by a special envoy, the safeguarding of human rights issues to prevent harm to innocent civilians, and the sending of ASEAN envoys to oversee Myanmar’s democratic process.