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ACTIVITIES

IMPORTANT AIPA EVENTS 2007

  • Attendance of the President of the 27th General Assembly of AIPO at  the 12thASEAN Summit in Cebu City, Philippines. 

             H.E. Mr. Jose de Venecia Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Republic of the Philippines and President of the 27th AIPO General Assembly attended the 12th ASEAN Summit on 13 January 2007 in Cebu City, the Philippines at the invitation of the Chairman of the ASEAN Standing Committee. The attendance of the President of AIPA at the ASEAN Summits and the reciprocal attendance of the Chairman of the ASEAN Standing Committee at the AIPA General Assemblies would serve to further strengthen the existing close cooperation and working relationship between AIPA and ASEAN.

  • Extraordinary Meeting of the Executive Committee of AIPA, 16th – 19thApril 2007, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

            The Extraordinary Meeting of the Executive Committee of AIPA was held in Kuala Lumpur from 16th to 19th April 2007. The meeting was attended by AIPA Member Parliaments and Special Observers from Brunei Darussalam and Myanmar. The main purpose of the meeting was to prepare for the 28th AIPA General Assembly. Among the important matters that were taken up was the transformation of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization or AIPO into the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly or AIPA.

During the course of the meeting the new Statutes of AIPA to replace the previous Statutes of AIPO was signed on 17th April 2007.

The signing of the new Statutes of AIPA marked the transformation of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization or AIPO into the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly or AIPA. A new era of a closely integrated ASEAN inter-parliamentary cooperation had set in.

With the transformation to AIPA, the meeting called for a review of the Agreement of 1990 and the review of the Staff, Financial and Security Rules of the Secretariat. The meeting agreed to retain the official logo with only the change of the wording “Organization” to “Assembly” and the change in the abbreviation from “AIPO” to “AIPA”.

The meeting also recommended that the annual contributions from member countries and donation from Brunei Darussalam be increased to meet future budget requirements.

The permanent Secretary General resident in Jakarta for a term of office of 3 years effective from 1st May 2007 was officially appointed during the meeting.

The meeting agreed that all activities in conjunction with the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of AIPO be immediately organized, and recommended that the anniversary celebration will be the first order of the day at the 28th AIPA General Assembly to be followed by the approval of the appointment of the permanent Secretary General.

The meeting also agreed that the former Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore, Hon. Tan Soo Khoon be conferred the AIPA Distinguished Services Award during the 28th AIPA General Assembly.

  • AIPA delegation attended the IPU 116th Assembly in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, 29th April – 4th May 2007.

            An AIPA delegation attended the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) 116th Assembly held in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia from 29th April to 4th May 2007 as an observer. The Executive Secretary and Executive Assistant from the Secretariat were among the members of the AIPA delegation. AIPA is one of the accredited organizations of IPU. Participation of AIPA as observer in IPU conferences is important in strengthening the ties between the two parliamentary organizations.

  • Appointment of the permanent Secretary General

At the Extraordinary Meeting of the Executive Committee of AIPA held in Kuala Lumpur from 16 to 19 April 2007, the President of AIPA and Speaker of the House of Representatives of Malaysia, H.E. Tan Sri Dato’ Seri DiRaja Ramli bin Ngah Talib officially appointed Ambassador Dato’ Md. Yusoff bin Md. Zain from Malaysia as the permanent Secretary General of AIPA resident in Jakarta for a term of 3 (three) years effective from 1st May 2007.

The appointment was in accordance with Resolution No. 27GA/06/0-13 on Guidelines and Criteria for the appointment of a permanent Secretary General of AIPA adopted at the 27th AIPO General Assembly in Cebu, Philippines in September 2006.

Dato’ Md. Yusoff bin Md. Zain reported for duty at the Parliament House of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on 4th May 2007 (1st to 3rd May 2007 being public holidays in Malaysia). The Transfer of the Office of Secretary General of AIPA from Hon. Datuk Mahmood bin Adam to Dato’ Md. Yusoff bin Md. Zain was done at the Parliament House of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on 9th May 2007 in the presence of the President of AIPA and Speaker of the House of Representatives of Malaysia, H.E. Tan Sri Dato’ Seri DiRaja Ramli bin Ngah Talib. On the following day, 10th May 2007, Dato’ Md. Yusoff bin Md. Zain arrived in Jakarta and immediately assumed duties as the Secretary General of AIPA resident in Jakarta.

  • Dialogue Session between the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) and the High Level Task Force on the Drafting of the ASEAN Charter in Penang, Malaysia on 17th May 2007.

AIPA was invited by the High Level Task Force (HLTF) on the Drafting of the ASEAN Charter to a Dialogue Session in Penang, Malaysia on 17th May 2007. The ASEAN Charter is scheduled to be tabled for the consideration of the ASEAN leaders in Singapore in November this year. The purpose of the dialogue was to seek AIPA’s views on the ASEAN Charter.

AIPA was represented by 3 (three) parliamentarians from Malaysia and 2 (two) parliamentarians from Singapore. The Secretary General of AIPA also attended. The leader of the AIPA delegation was Hon. Datuk. Dr. Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar, a Member of Parliament from Malaysia.

Among other matters, the AIPA delegation proposed that there should be an Article in the Charter on the importance of ensuring a more coherent collaboration and coordination between the legislative (AIPA) and executive arm (ASEAN). AIPA also felt that the ASEAN Charter in its preamble should also mention democracy and the empowerment of the ASEAN people. AIPA can foresee future vibrant and open ASEAN societies consistent with their national identities, where all the people within ASEAN enjoy equitable access to opportunities for total human development regardless of gender, race, religion, language or social and cultural backgrounds.

On ASEAN’s efforts at creating a stable, prosperous, highly competitive and integrated region with effective facilitation for trade and investment in which there would be progressive reduction of all barriers to economic integration and the realization of a single market, AIPA recommended the inclusion of an Article in the ASEAN Charter on the harmonization of laws and legislation among ASEAN member countries.

The AIPA delegation also proposed the setting up of ASEAN’s own tribunal to adjudicate or arbitrate disputes between ASEAN member countries in the spirit of ASEAN solidarity and friendship. The inclusion of an Article in the ASEAN Charter for the expeditious ratification of agreements was also raised by the AIPA delegation.

AIPA also expressed the view that many current issues of global concern such as environmental issues, human rights issue and terrorism should not be given just a passing mention but be dealt with in more specific terms in the ASEAN Charter together with the political commitment to jointly resolve them.

The Chairperson of the dialogue session, Ambassador Rosario Manano, emphasized that the ASEAN Charter is not a plan of action but an enabling document. It would therefore be more general in its statement. She added that the ASEAN Charter is meant to be a flexible and an enduring document which can adapt to changing circumstances and has enabling provisions for issues to be dealt with in more specific terms by means of attaching protocols to it. Nevertheless the HLTF shall take note of the views and proposals raised by the AIPA delegation.