Jakarta, 8 May 2011

Civil society organsations were not forgotten, when Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono informed a meeting that ASEAN needs the participation of the people – especially from the grass roots – and the ASEAN Interparliamentary Assembly (AIPA) provides a mean to do this.

The President of AIPA, Samdech Heng Samrin, responded that this was the 4th meeting between AIPA and ASEAN Leaders, and he hoped that this would allow for the strengthening of bonds between the executive and legislative arms of the government. He emphasised the role of ASEAN and AIPA in bringing the people together whereby AIPA is the partner of ASEAN. He expressed the hope that the role of AIPA in the Charter would be recognised.

He said AIPA is committed to contribute to the harmonisation of laws and decisions in ASEAN.

It also would like to recommend that regional Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) be fully incorporated in trade regulation with the implementation of a single market by 2015.

AIPA made a compassionate appeal to ASEAN to recognise political security and peaceful resolution, respect the UN and the ASEAN Charter, international resolution and regional mechanisms to safeguard peace.

It has also supported Timor-Leste’s application to become a permanent member of ASEAN.

AIPA expressed its interest in boosting regular interaction with ASEAN.

The AIPA Leader from Viet Nam, meanwhile, said that AIPA contributed to the peace and stability in the region and that it is important to gain the support from the grassroots.

As part of strengthening cooperation between AIPA and ASEAN, the Viet Nam leader mentioned that apart from the annual meeting between AIPA and ASEAN, he would like to support and task the AIPA Secretariat to work with the ASEAN Secretariat to seek ways to enhance the dialogue between the President of AIPA and ASEAN Chair.

Indonesia responded that ASEAN and AIPA should continue to find more opportunities to build a partnership.