ASEAN parliaments agreed Thursday to formalise their engagement with young lawmakers for regional community building in Southeast Asia.
The agreement was included in a joint communiqué adopted at the end of a three-day virtual meeting of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) chaired by Vietnam.
“Delegates emphasised the urgent need to strengthen the voice of youths and young parliamentarians,” it said.
“More importantly, the delegates expressed their strong support for and commended the National Assembly of Viet Nam on the initiative to establish the Meeting of Young Parliamentarians of AIPA.”
Rules of procedure for such meetings are expected to be considered at the next annual general assembly of AIPA, scheduled to be held in Brunei in August next year.
The communiqué highlighted the “important role of the youth and their contributions in national development and the achievement of sustainable development through bold thinking and innovation.”
Electronic signatures of ten parliamentary leaders — including National Assembly President Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin — were attached to the communiqué on Thursday morning.
Samdech Heng Samrin expressed support for the Vietnamese initiative as the general assembly opened on Tuesday.
“The Cambodian Parliament supports and encourages young AIPA parliamentarians to participate in all AIPA meetings and with ASEAN youth,” he said.
“Young people play significant roles in both national development and in building a prosperous and progressive ASEAN Community.”
Young ASEAN lawmakers later held an “unofficial” meeting chaired by H.E. Le Quoc Phong, head of the Young Parliamentarians Group of Vietnam’s National Assembly.
In her remarks to the meeting, the Vietnamese parliament’s First Vice President H.E. Ms. Tong Thi Phong praised the “dynamic and creative approach of the youth in general and young parliamentarians in particular.”
“Young parliamentarians should make more significant contributions to peace, stability and development,” H.E. Ms. Tong Thi Phong said.
The Cambodian delegation to Tuesday’s meeting of young lawmakers was led by H.E. Ban Sreymon, Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly Commission on Education, Youth, Sports, Cults, Religious Affairs, Culture and Tourism.
Also attending were H.E. Sok Sokan — Vice Chairman of the Commission on Public Works, Transport, Telecommunications, Posts, Industry, Mines, Energy, Commerce, Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction — and H.E. Yim Leat, a member of the Commission on Economy, Finance, Banking and Audit.
This year’s annual APIA assembly ended shortly before noon Thursday with closing remarks by Vietnamese National Assembly Chairwoman H.E. Ms. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.