The 29th General Assembly
24 August 2008
AIPA GENERAL ASSEMBLY
19-24 AUGUST 2008
The Twenty-Ninth (29th) General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) was held from 19-24 August 2008 in Singapore.
- The 29thAIPA General Assembly was attended by delegations from Member Countries: Cambodia led by Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly; Indonesia led by Mr Agung Laksono, Speaker of the House of Representatives; Lao People’s Democratic Republic led by Mr Thongsing Thammavong, President of the National Assembly; Malaysia led by Datuk Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar, Deputy Speaker of Dewan Rakyat; Philippines led by Mr Prospero C Nograles, Speaker of the House of Representatives; Singapore led by Mr Matthias Yao Chih, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore; Thailand led by Mr Chai Chidchob, Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the National Assembly; Vietnam led by Mrs Tong Thi Phong, Vice-President of the National Assembly; Brunei Darussalam led by PIM Pengiran Anak Kemaludin Al-Haj Ibni Al-Marhum Pengiran Bendahara Pengiran Anak Haji Mohd Yassin, Speaker of the Legislative Council; and Myanmar led by Dr Tun Shin.
- It was also attended by Observer Delegations from: Australia, led by Ms Sharon Bird; Canada led jointly by Mr Bob Mills and Mr Bryon Wilfert; People’s Republic of China led by Mr Zha Peixin; European Parliament led by Mr Hartmut Nassauer; Japan led by Mr Youetsu Suzuki; Republic of Korea, led by Mr Shin Hak Yong; Papua New Guinea led by Mr Sai Beseo; and the Russian Federation led by Mr Sergey Shishkarev.
- The list of Delegates, Special Observers and Observers is attached as Annex A.
III. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
- The Executive Committee, comprising the Leaders of Delegations and two delegates of the Member Countries, as well as Special Observers of Brunei Darussalam and Myanmar, met on 19 August 2008 at 8.00 pm, and considered and approved the following:
- Programme of Activities (attached as Annex B);
- Agenda Items for the General Assembly (attached as Annex C);
- Agenda Items for Dialogue with Observer Countries (attached as Annex D);
- Composition of Committees and Dialogue Panels with Observer Countries (attached as Annex E).
Presentation of Reports
- The Executive Committee approved the presentation of the following two Reports:
(a) Report of the Official Visit of AIPA to Japan on 14 to 18 January 2008; and
(b) Report of the Fifth AIFOCOM Meeting held on 22 to 25 June 2008 in Singapore.
Date and Venue of 30th General Assembly
- The Meeting agreed to hold the 30thAIPA General Assembly in Thailand from 2-8 August 2009.
Request by the Members of Parliament Union (Burma) to attend AIPA General Assembly as “Special Observer”
- The Executive Committee considered the request by the Members of Parliament Union (Burma) to attend the AIPA General Assembly as “Special Observer” and this had been referred to the Executive Committee by the 28thAIPA General Assembly which was held in Kuala Lumpurin 2007. The Executive Committee decided that it was unable to accede to the request at this juncture on the basis that a consensus could not be reached on the admissibility of the Members of Parliament Union (Burma) into AIPA.
Signing of AIPA Statutes by the Philippines
- The President of AIPA invited Mr Prospero C Nograles, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, to sign the new AIPA Statutes. The AIPA Statutes had been amended during the Extraordinary Executive Committee Meeting in Kuala Lumpur in April 2007 and was signed by attending delegations on 18 April 2007.
- CALL ON MR ABDULLAH TARMUGI, PRESIDENT OF AIPA
- On 20 August 2008 at 8.15 am and at 8.45 am, the Leaders of Delegations of the Member Countries and Special Observer Countries, and the Leaders of the Delegations of the Observer Countries, respectively, paid a courtesy call on Mr Abdullah Tarmugi, President of AIPA.
- OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 29THAIPA GENERAL ASSEMBLY
- The Opening Ceremony of the 29thAIPA General Assembly was held on 20 August 2008 at 9.45 am at the Shangri-La Hotel. The General Assembly was declared open by the Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong.
- The Programme of the Official Opening is attached as Annex G.
Written Messages from Heads of State/Government
- Written Messages were received from the following Heads of State of Member Countries:
|Head of State/Government||Member Country|
|Samdeck Akka Moha Thomma Pothisal Chea Sim||Cambodia|
|HE Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono||Indonesia|
|HE Choummaly Sayasone||Lao People’s Democratic Republic|
|Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi||Malaysia|
|HE Gloria Macapagal Arroyo||Philippines|
|HE Samak Sundaravej||Thailand|
|HE Nguyen Minh Triet||Vietnam|
|HE Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah||Brunei Darusalam|
|HE Senior General Than Shwee||Myanmar|
- The texts of the Messages are attached as Annex G1.
Welcome Address of Mr Abdullah Tarmugi, President of AIPA
- In his welcoming speech, the President of AIPA and the Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore, Mr Abdullah Tarmugi, extended a warm welcome to all delegates and observers to the 29thAIPA General Assembly. He reaffirmed the importance of the ASEAN Charter and the role AIPA could play in the establishment of the ASEAN Community based on the principles of consensus, mutual respect, the rule of law, democracy and human rights.
- He called for the parliamentarians, who are in close contact with the grassroots, to be a means for two-way dialogue between governments and the people in building a people-centred ASEAN. He also urged parliamentarians to support the implementation of ASEAN agreements and the expeditious ratification of the ASEAN Charter by the 14thASEAN Summit in Bangkok.
- He emphasized the importance of dialogue with ASEAN’s and AIPA’s external partners, as a means to foster mutual understanding. He also emphasised the responsibility of the parliamentarians in shaping the ASEAN course during this exciting period of change and nurturing the growing ASEAN identity among their constituents, particularly the youths, in order to ensure that the next generation will be an “ASEAN generation”.
- The text of the Opening Address is attached as Annex G2.
Opening Address by Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore
- The Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, opened the 29thAIPA General Assembly on 20 August 2008. In his opening address, he outlined the many initiatives undertaken by ASEAN in its efforts towards greater regional integration, including the ASEAN Charter and the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint, which paves the way for ASEAN to become a single market and production base by 2015. He called for the expeditious ratification of the ASEAN Charter by all member states. Noting that it is not the time for ASEAN to rest on its laurels given the competition from China and India, he stressed the need for ASEAN to become a strong and integrated region, to make it a more attractive and worthwhile economic partner for MNCs and other countries and regional organisations.
- Drawing on the experience of the EU, PM Lee stressed the importance of strong domestic support to sustain ASEAN’s integration efforts. Such domestic support would rest on an appreciation by ASEAN’s citizens of the relevance of ASEAN to their daily lives, and should continue to be fostered through frequent interactions, business ties, and people-to-people exchanges.
- PM Lee lauded the vision and ideals of AIPA founders, and emphasized that their objective of creating an integrated and successful community remained relevant today. They had seen the need to take a larger view of the region’s interests beyond national and domestic considerations. While parliamentarians may belong to different political parties, ASEAN cooperation is a non-partisan issue which all can support. In this regard, he emphasized the key role of national parliaments in moving ASEAN closer to our common goals by supporting the ratification and implementation of ASEAN agreements, including the Charter, and enlisting public support for the ASEAN vision. He also stressed AIPA’s role in promoting better person-to-person ties and greater understanding among the parliamentarians as they served the important role of “bridges between the people of different ASEAN countries”.
- PM Lee expressed his confidence that if parliamentarians could continue to lead and manage domestic sentiments, stand firm against xenophobic attitudes, and support policies which keep our economies open and integrated, the region would be able to achieve continued growth, stability and development; and ASEAN’s relevance and strategic weight will be enhanced. He concluded by wishing the ASEAN parliamentarians meaningful, fruitful and enjoyable discussions.
- The text of the Opening Address is attached as Annex G3.
- FIRST PLENARY SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
- The First Plenary Session of the General Assembly was held on 20 August 2008 at 11.00 am. It was presided by Mr Abdullah Tarmugi, President of AIPA.
Nomination of Vice-Presidents of the General Assembly
- Pursuant to Article 8 of the Statutes of AIPA, the General Assembly nominated the following as Vice-Presidents: Cambodia, Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin; Indonesia, Mr Agung Laksono; Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mr Thongsing Thammavong; Malaysia, Datuk Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar; Philippines, Mr Prospero Nograles; Thailand, Mr Chai Chidchob; and Vietnam, Mrs Tong Thi Phong.
Statements by Leaders of Delegations
- The Leaders of Delegations of the Member Countries, Special Observer Countries and Observer Countries made their respective statements.
|Leader of Delegation||Country|
|Mr Samdech Akka Moha PonheaChakrei Heng Samrin||Cambodia|
|Mr Agung Laksono||Indonesia|
|Mr Thongsing Thammavong||Lao People’s Democratic Republic|
|Datuk Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar||Malaysia|
|Mr Prospero C Nograles||Philippines|
|Mr Chai Chidchob||Thailand|
|Mrs Tong Thi Phong||Vietnam|
|Mr Matthias Yao Chih||Singapore|
|PIM Pengiran Anak Kemaludin Al-Haj Ibni Al-Marhum Pengiran Bendahara Pengiran Anak Haji Mohd. Yassin||Brunei Darussalam|
|Dr Tun Shin||Myanmar|
|Ms Sharon Bird||Australia|
|Mr Bob Mills||Canada|
|Mr Zha Peixin||People’s Republic of China|
|Mr Hartmut Nassauer||European Parliament|
|Mr Youetsu Suzuki||Japan|
|Mr Shin Hak Yong||Republic of Korea|
|Mr Sai Beseo||Papua New Guinea|
|Mr Sergey Shishkarev||Russian Federation|
- The texts of the Statements by Leaders of Delegations of Member Countries, Special Observer Countries and Observer Countries are attached as annexes H, I and K respectively.
Statement by Secretary General of ASEAN
- The Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Soeung Rathchavy, made a statement (on behalf of Dr Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General) and the text of his statement is attached as Annex J.
Adoption of Items in Order of Business
- The General Assembly considered and adopted the following items in the Order of Business:
- Programme of Activities;
- Agenda Items for the General Assembly;
- Agenda Items for Dialogue with Observer Countries; and
- Composition of Committees and Dialogue Panels with Observer Countries.
VII. COMMITTEE MEETINGS
- The respective Committees on Political Matters, Economic Matters, Social Matters and Organisational Matters met on 21 August 2008 at 9.00 am and considered the Agenda assigned to them by the General Assembly. The Committee on Joint Communiqué met on 21 August 2008 at 2.00 pm to draft the Joint Communiqué of the 29thAIPA General Assembly.
Committee on Political Matters
- The Committee on Political Matters was chaired by Dr Teo Ho Pin with Ms Irene Ng as Rapporteur.
- The Committee approved two resolutions for adoption by the General Assembly.
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Pol/01 on AIPA’s Role and Contribution to the ASEAN Charter; and
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Pol/02 on Strengthening Democracy and Promotion of Human Rights.
Committee on Economic Matters
- The Committee on Economic Matters was chaired by Mr Inderjith Singh with Ms Jessica Tan as Rapporteur.
- The Committee approved three resolutions for adoption by the General Assembly:
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Eco/01 on Narrowing the Economic Gap;
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Eco/02 on Economic Integration; and
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Eco/03 on Energy Security and Alternative Energy.
Committee on Social Matters
- The Committee on Social Matters was chaired by Mr Charles Chong with Ms Ellen Lee as Rapporteur.
- The Committee approved seven resolutions for adoption by the General Assembly:
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Soc/01 on Building an ASEAN Identity;
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Soc/02 on Poverty Eradication in Light of Globalisation;
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Soc/03 on Racial and Religious Harmony;
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Soc/04 on Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change;
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Soc/05 on Food Security;
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Soc/06 on the Establishment of AIPA Expert Working Group on Legal Cooperation to Combat Trafficking in Persons; and
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Soc/07 on the Control of Synthetic Drug and Illicit Drug Crop Production.
Committee on Organisational Matters
- The Committee on Organisational Matters was chaired by Mr Sin Boon Ann with Mr Lim Biow Chuan as Rapporteur.
- The Committee approved eight resolutions for adoption by the General Assembly:
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Org/01 on AIPA Secretariat Annual Report for FY 2007/20008;
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Org/02 on Audited Financial Reports of the AIPA Secretariat for the periods, 1 July 2007 to 30 September 2007, 1 October 2006 to 30 September 2007 and 1 October 2007 to 30 June 2008 and Estimated Expenditures for 1 July 2008 to 30 September 2008;
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Org/03 on Budget Proposal for the AIPA Secretariat for the period 1 October 2008 to 30 September 2009 (FY 2008/2009);
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Org/04 on ASEAN Parliamentary Training Cooperation;
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Org/05 on the Establishment of AIPA Caucus;
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Org/06 on Expression Gratitude to Brunei Darussalam for its Donation of US$ 15,000 to AIPA in 2008;
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Org/07 on Appreciation of the Services of His Excellency Abdullah Tarmugi, President of AIPA; and
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/Org/08 on Date and Venue of the 30th General Assembly.
Meeting of Women Parliamentarians of AIPA (WAIPA)
- The Meeting of Women Parliamentarians of AIPA (WAIPA) was held on 19 August 2008 at 9.00 am. The meeting was chaired by Dr Lily Neo with Mdm Ho Geok Choo as Rapporteur.
- The Meeting approved three resolutions for adoption by the General Assembly:
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/WAIPA/01 on Women, Poverty and Economic Development;
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/WAIPA/02 on Women in Power and Active Participation of Women in Society; and
- Resolution No. Res 29GA/2008/WAIPA/03 on Cooperation among Women in Politics and Socio-Economic Activities.
Committee on Joint Communiqué
- The Committee on Joint Communiqué was chaired by Dr Teo Ho Pin with Mr Sin Boon Ann as Rapporteur. It drafted the Joint Communiqué of the 29thAIPA General Assembly and submitted the same for approval by the General Assembly.
Dialogue with Observer Countries
- Eight AIPA dialogue panels were formed and met in separate meetings with the eight Observer Countries. Each panel was given a free hand in selecting topics in the Agenda approved by the General Assembly at its First Plenary Session. The eight AIPA panels were each chaired by delegates from Singapore.
|Mr Zaqy Mohamad||Australia|
|Mr Masagos Zulkifli B M M||Canada|
|Mr Chan Soo Sen||People’s Republic of China|
|Mr Zainudin Nordin||European Parliament|
|Ms Irene Ng||Japan|
|Mdm Halimah Yacob||Republic of Korea|
|Mr Hawazi Daipi||Papua New Guinea|
|Dr Ahmad Mohd Magad||Russian Federation|
- The Reports of the Dialogue Panels with the Observer Countries are attached as Annex R.
VIII. SECOND PLENARY SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
- The Second Plenary Session of the General Assembly was held on 22 August 2008 and was presided by Mr Abdullah Tarmugi, President of AIPA.
Presentation of Reports of the Committees and Meeting of Women Parliamentarians of AIPA (WAIPA)
- The Chairmen of the Committees on Political Matters, Economic Matters, Social Matters, Organisational Matters, WAIPA and Joint Communiqué presented their respective reports. The reports were approved by the General Assembly.
- The Reports of the Committees are attached as Annexes L, M, N, O, P and Q.
Date and Venue of 30th AIPA General Assembly
- It was agreed that the 30thAIPA General Assembly would be held in Thailand from 2-8 August 2009.
Signing of the Joint Communiqué
- The Joint Communiqué was signed by Mr Abdullah Tarmugi, President of AIPA and the Leaders of Delegations of Member Countries and Special Observer Countries.
- The Joint Communiqué is attached asAnnex Q1.
Closing Remarks of Mr Abdullah Tarmugi, President of AIPA
- Mr Abdullah Tarmugi, President of AIPA, delivered his closing remarks. The text of his Closing Remarks is attached as Annex S.
Transfer of Office of the President of AIPA
- Mr Abdullah Tarmugi, outgoing President of AIPA, handed over the AIPA Gavel to the incoming President of AIPA, HE Mr Chai Chidchob, Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the National Assembly of Thailand, symbolising the handing over of the Presidency of AIPA to Thailand.
- The signed Instrument of Transfer of Office of the AIPA President is attached as Annex U.
Acceptance Speech by Mr Chai Chidchob
- Mr Chai Chidchob, Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the National Assembly of Thailand, delivered his acceptance speech as President of AIPA.
- The text of the Speech is attached as Annex T.