Meeting of ASEAN Women Parliamentarians Kicks-off 34th AIPA General Assembly
Women Parliamentarians from ten ASEAN Member States gathered in Brunei Darussalam in conjunction with the annual meeting of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA). The meeting of Women Parliamentarians of AIPA (WAIPA), chaired by Hon. Datin Paduka Hajah Salbiah binti Haji Sulaiman, Member of Legislative Council, Brunei Darussalam, kicked off the 34th AIPA General Assembly scheduled for 17 to 23 September.
This year’s WAIPA meeting focused on the issue of maternal and child health in ASEAN. The Meeting agreed to a Draft Resolution on “Fostering Maternal and Child Health in ASEAN” to be reported and adopted at the second plenary Meeting of the General Assembly. The women parliamentarians recognized the efforts and the contribution of the ASEAN Health Ministers in building a healthy region and the work of the ASEAN Taskforce on Maternal and Child Health (ATFMCH).
During the meeting, representatives of WAIPA reported that programs and efforts to achieve MDGs 4 and 5 have been streamlined into national legislations of all the ASEAN Member States who shared their respective national developments. Meanwhile, the ASEAN Secretariat was invited to brief WAIPA on a proposal to organise a joint event in an effort to foster collaboration between the ASEAN Secretariat and the AIPA Secretariat. The proposal will be disseminated among AIPA Members for further consideration.
ASEAN is counting down to the formation of the Community on 31 December 2015, and under the Chairmanship of Brunei Darussalam, all sectoral bodies are pressing ahead to meet the compliance. This sense of urgency is reflected at the General Assembly of AIPA, which is hosted this year by the Legislative Council of Brunei Darussalam. The theme of the meetings - “The Role of AIPA in Realising the ASEAN Community”, aptly reflects the importance of the law-makers in the regional exercise.
The annual meeting gathers delegations from the 10 AIPA Member Parliaments, and also includes observer parliaments from Belarus, Canada, People’s Republic of China, European Union Parliament, India, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Russian Federation, as well as guests from the ASEAN Secretariat, Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Pan African Parliament (PAP), ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN WEN), Representative of the Special Adviser for United Nations on the Prevention of Genocide, and Timor Leste.