Singapore Hosts Second AIPA Caucus
05 October 2017
PARLIAMENT members of the 10 ASEAN countries met in Singapore late last month and discussed ways how to harmonize laws on clean energy and multi-lateral trading system.
Aside from submitting country reports on initiatives on the two topics, Member Countries also gave updates on the status of implementation of resolutions adopted during the 30th General Assembly (GA) in Thailand last year.
Secretary General Antonio Cuenco pointed to four resolutions–on harmonization of laws on illegal drugs, on legal cooperation to combat trafficking in persons, on health and social problems emerging from migration, and on the role and contributions of AIPA to the ASEAN Charter, as needing action by members.
Hon. Cuenco said large numbers of resolutions have been adopted by the AIPA already, but they remain unimplemented by the executive department of the respective governments.
He agreed to the creation of an oversight committee that would monitor the implementation of all AIPA resolutions, which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam supported.
Dr. Ngo Duc Manh, Vietnam’s head of delegation, said the initiative would enable AIPA resolutions to be effectively implemented.
In particular, the resolution on illegal drugs called for the establishment of a working group to study ways and means to harmonize laws, and for the AIPA Caucus to “integrate the resolution this resolution into its works of harmonizing laws on drugs.”
The resolution on human trafficking, on the other hand, set that the first meeting of an AIPA Ad Hoc Committee be called “to work out details for its roles on the issue.”
That on migration orders the establishment of an AIPA Fact-finding Committee “to comprehensively address migration issue in ASEAN,” while that on AIPA’s contributions to the ASEAN Charter called for the AIPA Caucus or a working group to implement the resolution.
In a speech during the opening ceremony of the June 23 to 24 meeting, Speaker Abdullah Tarmugi of the Singapore Parliament noted that climate change “continues to pose a threat to the economic and social well being of countries in the region and around the world.”
That is why, he said, developing renewable and clean energy technologies is the long-term solution to meet increasing need “in a safe, cost-effective and environmentally-sustainable manner.”
On global trade, he pointed on the need for the region to adopt “open and rule-based multilateral trading system.”
His Excellency Tarmugi said trade liberalization will create a single ASEAN market and production base “that allows for the free movement of goods, services, investment and skilled labor, and for the freer flow of capital in the region.”
It was noted in the meeting, though, that developed countries have been imposing “anti-dumping measures” against imports from developing nations, especially those from the ASEAN region.
Myamnar also said that because of US Government subsidies on its agricultural products, their soya beans are being priced out of Japanese markets.
Pratap Parameswaran, ASEAN Public Outreach and Civil Society Division head, said ASEAN countries should work as one economic bloc to have a common voice in ongoing World Trade Organization Development Agenda (WTO-DDA) negotiations.
He observed that rather than as a regional bloc, the ASEAN Member States participate in WTO-DDA talks individually, which he said is largely due to differences in positions.