The 43rd AIPA General Assembly was officially inaugurated this morning, Monday, 21 November 2022, at the Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel. The Cambodian top leaders, namely Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei HENG SAMRIN, President the National Assembly and the President of the 43rd AIPA, Samdech Vibol Sena Pheakdei SAY CHHUM, President of the Senate, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN, Prime Minister, jointly graced the general assembly with their esteemed presence. The AIPA-43 is attended by about 200 national and international guests.
In his royal message sent to the event, His Majesty King NORODOM SIHAMONI, King of the Kingdom of Cambodia, stated that the theme of the 43rd AIPA General Assembly, “Advancing together for sustainable, inclusive and resilient ASEAN”, is highly relevant to the current situation facing our region.
His Majesty the King continued that the gathering of the 43rd General Assembly of AIPA this week 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. To attain that future, we must ensure that national and regional development efforts are well aligned with the concepts of “Sustainability,” “Inclusiveness,” and “Resilience,” as reflected in the theme of the General Assembly.
Meanwhile, during the opening ceremony, Samdech Vibol Sena Pheakdey SAY CHHUM, President of the Senate of Cambodia, said the theme of the General Assembly highlights about the need for us to act together in the spirit of ASEAN unity to address all our common challenges. To that effect, our parliamentary partnership needs to be bolstered further in order for us to realize an ASEAN Community that can provide benefits for all our peoples for this generation and for the next one to come. In this regard, we, AIPA parliamentarians, must seize this opportunity to act, through our parliamentary partnership and cooperation, as a united force to find common grounds and interests. Through AIPA, we need to foster greater synergy with our counterparts in the governments to further promote sustainable recovery, to support a people-oriented and people-centered development without leaving no one behind, and to build resilient societies ready to cope with future crises.
Delivering his key note address at the opening ceremony, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, stated that the world continues confronting with many challenges, including geo-political rivalries, war, trade and economic polarization, climate change and natural disasters, which have not severely threatened the lives of people, but also dampened global economic recovery, including causing increasing inflationary pressures, supply chains disruption, and food and energy insecurity, etc. In this context, the theme of the 43rd General Assembly of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) is relevant and appropriate, which will contribute to inspiring a sense of shared responsibility to respond to regional and global development in a timely manner as well as accelerating ASEAN socio-economic recovery toward common prosperity.
As the rotating chair of ASEAN in 2022 under the theme “ASEAN A.C.T: Addressing Challenges Together”, Cambodia is indeed proud to have navigated ASEAN in addressing difficult challenges facing our region and making significant achievements to expedite the building process of ASEAN Community in accordance with ASEAN’s core spirit of: “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”, the Prime Minister added.
In his opening remarks, Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei HENG SAMRIN stated that the inaugural ceremony of the 43rd General Assembly is being held in a peaceful and calm atmosphere in Phnom Penh. Yet the world in which we now live is different. Our region, ASEAN, and the world face mounting challenges and pressures from all sides. These include heightened geopolitical rivalries, a weakened multilateral system amid signs of economic fragmentation, tensions over Taiwan and the Korean peninsula, maritime disputes and the political and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, which have seriously affected many countries worldwide.
He stressed that the conflict in Ukraine has added another layer of hardship to the issues of global energy and food security. In response, AIPA should–with unfaltering will –promote strengthening the multilateral system to be more open, inclusive, and rules-based as we reinforce our multi-stakeholder, multi-layered partnerships and cross-sectoral collaboration to ensure that the ASEAN Community is sustainable, inclusive and resilient.
He also highlighted that promoting peace and tolerance at the national, regional and global levels is a never-ending quest, and our parliamentary diplomacy should continue to play a vital role in this regard. “The world needs to know our position–we reject all notions and practices that cause war and we adhere to the objectives and principles enshrined in the UN Charter, and our ASEAN Charter and Treaty of Amity and Cooperation”.
Samdech AIPA-43 President concluded his opening remarks by saying that the 43rd AIPA General Assembly provides us with the opportunity not only to strengthen regional cooperation, mutual understanding and trust, but also a platform to explore every possible innovative solution to the common challenges we now face. Our discussions need to be more action-oriented and problem-solving.