Pursuant to the AIPA Statutes, the organizational structure of AIPA and its constituent bodies are as follows :
The highest body in AIPA is the General Assembly which convenes once a year in compliance with Article 9 of the AIPA Statutes, unless otherwise decided by the Executive Committee. The General Assembly is held to provide policy directions for the development of AIPA’s objectives and as a forum for interchange among it is members. According to Article 12, the agenda to be discussed by the General Assembly may be determined by the Executive Committee. However, the General Assembly may also consider the discussion of other issues beside those decided by the Executive Committee, if the necessity arises and after listening to the explanations by the party (parties) who puts forward the suggestion.
Participants of the General Assembly consist of members of the ASEAN parliamentary delegations and observer groups, with a maximum of 15 delegates from each AIPA member Parliament.
The General Assembly is presided by the AIPA President who is the Speaker of the AIPA Member Parliament hosting the General Assembly. The chief delegates of other member Parliaments to the General Assembly act as Vice-Presidents. The Statutes also stipulate that should the AIPA President be incapacitated to chair the General Assembly, the chairmanship will be replaced by a member elected from the host country’s delegates. The term of office of the AIPA President commences immediately upon the conclusion of a General Assembly and shall continue until the conclusion of the following General Assembly.
The Executive Committee is an executive body under the direction of the General Assembly. The membership of the Executive Committee comprises 3 parliamentarians from each Member Parliament, one of whom shall be the Speaker or his representative. The President of AIPA is the chairman of the Executive Committee. The chairman has the power to convene a meeting of the Executive Committee at such place and time as he/she deems necessary.
Based on Article 12 of the AIPA Statutes, the powers and functions of the Executive Committee are as follows :
- to consider and recommend membership in AIPA and the participation of Special Observers and Observers;
- to develop new initiatives for AIPA activities;
- to monitor the implementation of resolutions approved by the General Assembly;
- to prepare the agenda and program as proposed by member of Parliaments for the approval of the General Assembly;
- to propose the setting up of standing, study and ad hoc committees whenever necessary;
- to direct, monitor and supervise the Permanent Secretariat;
- to recommend the appointment of the staff of the Permanent Secretariat; and
- to formulate its own rules of procedure.
Standing Committee, Study Committee and Ad Hoc Committee
With the approval of the General Assembly, the agenda proposed by the Executive Committee will be discussed in detail by the Committees established by the General Assembly. The current Standing Committees convened during the General Assembly are the Committee on Political Matters, Committee on Economic Matters, Committee on Social Matters, Committee on Organizational Matters, Committee on Joint Communique, and Committee on Dialogue with Observer Countries.
Apart from the Standing Committees that are convened regularly during every General Assembly, in accordance with Article 13 of the AIPA Statutes, the General Assembly has the authority to form Study Committees and Ad Hoc Committees, to be in charge of discussing specific issues related to the mutual development and common interest of AIPA Member Parliaments, especially in the area of legislation, through closer cooperation among the Member Parliaments of AIPA.
In the last decade, specific issues of common interest that have been discussed by AIPA Study Committees and Ad Hoc Committees include the following:
- Common Legislation on Narcotics, Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation
- Feasibility of Establishing ASEAN Legislative Committee
- Human Rights
- Environment and Wildlife Protection
- Marine and Coastal Resources
- Enhancement of the AIPA Permanent Secretariat
- ASEAN Laws Related to or Having an Impact on the Implementation of AFTA (ASEAN Free Trade Area)
- ASEAN Laws Related to Tourism and Human Resources Development
- Role of ASEAN Legislative Bodies in the Face of the Regional Economic and Financial Crisis
- ASEAN Cooperation on Public Health
Women Parliamentarians of AIPA (WAIPA)
The Women Parliamentarians of AIPA (WAIPA) was established in 1998 as a branch of AIPA. The meeting of WAIPA is held at the yearly AIPA General Assembly and its chaired by one of the women parliamentarians of the host country.
The aims and purposes of WAIPA are:
- to enhance the participation and representation of women within AIPA by endeavoring to bring about an increased number of women delegates to AIPA events;
- to further increase the representation of women in Parliaments throughout ASEAN;
- to ensure that matters of specific concern to women be put on the agenda of AIPA’s General Assembly;
- to propose topics for AIPA Study Committees and to organize conferences for such purposes;
- to meet annually at the time of AIPA’s General Assembly;
- to facilitate networking between women parliamentarians of ASEAN;
- to establish networks with other women’s associations and women’s meetings within international organizations such as the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
Located in Jakarta, the AIPA Permanent Secretariat was established in 1990 by the 11th General Assembly as authorized by Article 7 of the AIPA Statutes. The Permanent Secretariat is the central information and administrative office of AIPA that facilitates and monitors all AIPA activities. Since its creation, the AIPA Permanent Secretariat has undergone several organizational changes in line with changing needs and activities.
The Secretary General of AIPA is appointed by the President of AIPA with the approval of the General Assembly for a term of three (3) years on rotational basis and in alphabetical order.