IPU 132 – the highlight of Vietnam’s international integration

National Assembly Committee for Foreign Affairs Chairman and Deputy Head of the Standing Organisation Committee for the 132nd Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-132) Tran Van Hang told Nhan Dan newspaper correspondent about organisation for the important event, hosted by Vietnam for the first time.

NA Committee for Foreign Affairs Chairman and Deputy Head of the Standing Organisation Committee for the IPU-132 Tran Van Hang (Image credit: IPU-32)
NA Committee for Foreign Affairs Chairman and Deputy Head of the Standing Organisation Committee for the IPU-132 Tran Van Hang (Image credit: IPU-32)

>>> IPU-132: An imprint in Vietnam’s diplomatic history

Q: Could you please provide more information on the highlights of IPU-132, being held for the first time in Hanoi?

A: After being organised three consecutive times in Geneva, Switzerland, IPU-132 will be held in Vietnam. This is also the first IPU held outside Geneva chaired by the IPU’s new president and secretary general.

According to the latest figures, so far there are 130 international delegations, nine observers and 23 associate members, including about 700 members of parliament, 50 Chairpersons and 51 Vice Chairpersons of parliaments from IPU member countries registered to participate in the event.

It is expected that, after the end of the 132nd Assembly meeting, the IPU will adopt a Declaration bearing the hall mark of the IPU-132 in Vietnam. The document will be submitted to the 70th Regular Session of the UN General Assembly, contributing to shaping the agenda for post-2015 sustainable development.

Among the main content of IPU-132 is a celebration for the 30th anniversary of the IPU women parliamentarians’ meeting mechanism and the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The events represent the positive and proactive contributions of the host country Vietnam, while also honouring the role and participation of women in international politics in general and in parliamentary diplomacy in particular.

As part of thorough preparations with the participation of many agencies, ministries, departments, and localities in Vietnam, the IPU has approved a number of regulations on organisation which are expected to create new standards on parliamentary receptions to be shared with other host countries for upcoming IPU meetings.

Vietnam has actively proposed venues and organisation for IPU related events in which each location and event has its own theme, honouring the tangible and intangible world heritage sites in Vietnam and introducing the country’s cultural values ​​to international friends.

The IPU-132 hosted by Vietnam is considered an important milestone, helping to improve the country’s position in international arena after 30 years of the Doi Moi (renovation) process. It is a highlight in the overall picture of Vietnam’s international integration since 1986, and also an inspiration for activities celebrating 70 years since the first election of Vietnam’s NA. Furthermore, it is an important contribution to the assessment of implementation of solutions issued during the XI National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam on international integration and drafting the content for foreign policy to be discussed at the XII National Party Congress in 2016.

Q: Could you specify topics to be discussed at the IPU-32 and participation of the Vietnamese NA delegation in the event so far?

A: As a member of the IPU, Vietnam’s NA will co-ordinate closely with parliamentary delegations of IPU member countries in discussing and deciding on issues at IPU-132. The Assembly meeting will pass many documents and resolutions on the discussed issues. The IPU-132 agenda covers many fields including peace, security, politics, democracy, economics, social issues, and environment, among others, that, in accordance with the priorities of the IPU, correlate with the UN agenda of clearly conveying parliamentary angles, and is consistent with the current domestic and international situation.

Recently, in Hanoi, agencies under Vietnam’s NA and NA Standing Committee in collaboration with UNDP have successfully organised a seminar on sustainable development to collect the suggestion of domestic and international experts to build up Vietnam’s activities during the IPU-132 plenary session on the topic ‘Sustainable development goals: Turning words into action’.

Earlier, Vietnam’s NA submitted to the IPU Secretariat in Geneva for comments, drafting resolutions on the topic ‘Cyber warfare – A serious threat to peace and global security’ of the Standing Committee on Peace and International Security and the theme ‘Shaping a new mechanism for water resources management: Promoting parliamentary actions on water’ by the Standing Committee on Sustainable Development, Finance and Trade.

The Vietnamese mission at the IPU-32 will participate in discussions and give comments on the draft resolution on ‘International laws related to national sovereignty, non-interference in each other's internal affairs and human rights’ of the Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights. In addition, Vietnam’s delegation will also join the discussion on the topic ‘Access to health as a basic right: The role of parliaments in addressing key challenges to securing the health of women and children’ and ‘Democracy in the digital era and the threat to privacy and individual freedoms’.

Under the proposed programmes, the Meeting of Women Parliamentarians will celebrate 30 years of establishment and the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Deputy Chairwoman of Vietnam’s NA cum Chairwoman of the Meeting at the IPU-132, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, will chair the session.

Among the main events at the General Assembly of the IPU-132, IPU's Forum of Young Parliamentarians will be held for the second time with participation of Vietnam NA’s representatives.

Vietnam will contribute to the meeting of the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments (ASGP) chaired by Chairman of NA Office Nguyen Hanh Phuc with a topic on ‘Searching for a support agency models in effectively assisting parliament operation’.

Besides the main sessions, Vietnam will also participate in a number of sideline events with many important topics, such as ‘Achieving the vision of Beijing: The views of men’ and ‘Consultation on the updated global strategy for women's, children's and infants' health’.