The gathering of the 43rd General Assembly of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) reflects a true spirit of solidarity, unity, and commitment to overcoming the current challenges to achieve a more peaceful and prosperous future for our region.
The note was underlined by His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia in a Royal Message on the occasion of the 43rd AIPA General Assembly, read by H.E. Cheam Yeap, First Vice President of the National Assembly of Cambodia and Chairman of Cambodian AIPA Delegation, adding that to attain that future, we must ensure that national and international development efforts are well aligned with the concepts of “Sustainability, ”Inclusiveness”, and “Resilience,” as reflected to the theme of the General Assembly.
“We gather today because we believe that inter-parliamentary diplomacy, partnership, and cooperation are crucial and that they need to be promoted in tandem with the efforts of our respective governments to give new impetus to drive our efforts toward attaining long-lasting peace and prosperity for our ASEAN Community,” he added.
According to His Majesty the King, the theme of this General Assembly “Advancing together for sustainable, inclusive and resilient ASEAN”, is highly relevant to the current situation facing our region. For ASEAN, the spirit of “Togetherness “has always been set as the backdrop of our collective efforts to keep our region peaceful over the last two decades. Undergirded by a strong intra-regional and inter-regional cooperation framework, the peace that ASEAN so cherished as created enormous socio-economic opportunity for our people. We have lifted millions of them out of poverty. We have created concrete employment opportunities for women and enhanced their future job prospects. We have invested in good education for our youth. We have improved the healthcare for our elderly people. We are blessed to be in a thriving region that continues to attract foreign investment, trade, and tourism to create more wealth and prosperity for our people.
But, emphasised the monarch, peace needs to be protected and constantly nurtured. Peace could be undermined at any moment by various traditional challenges, from near and far, as well as from non-traditional threats that could rock the stability of our society. The lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt by our economies for several years or even decades. The political crisis in Myanmar not only exacerbates internal political violence and armed conflicts, but will deprive the people of Myanmar of the opportunity for human development. Worse yet, it can undermine the very foundation of our ASEAN Community, which we all have worked so hard to build.
The growing intensity of the rivalries between superpowers, and the recent threat to use nuclear weapons, are of great concern for the fate of humanity, he said, stressing that needless to say, we still have to deal on a daily basis with the looming climate change crisis and its recurrent disasters that have wreaked havoc on our food security and our people’s livelihoods.
“But these problems, as mind-boggling as they may seem, are not unsurmountable, provided we ACT TOGETHER to mobilise our human and intellectual resources, wisdom, and innovative technological advancements to address them. For that matter, ASEAN already has all the ingredients in place to deal with these issues. Anchoring on the Charter of the United Nations, our ASEAN Centrality will play a crucial role in promoting a rules-based international order for the greater benefit of our ASEAN people and beyond,” said His Majesty the King.