NA Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong (L) meets with First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic in Belgrade on October 17 (Photo: VNA)
Permanent Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly (NA) Tong Thi Phong met with First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Serbia Ivica Dacic and attended the closing ceremony of the 141st Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-141) in Belgrade on October 17.
At the meeting with Ivica Dacic, the Vietnamese NA Vice Chairwoman expressed her delight at Serbia’s achievements in national development.
She affirmed that Vietnam treasures the time-tested friendship with Serbia and appreciates the European country’s support for Vietnam’s struggle for national liberation in the past, as well as national development efforts at present.
Phong said she hopes the two countries will enhance cooperation in economy – trade, culture, education – training, and sports, on the basis of their own potential and strengths.
For his part, First Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Dacic shared his guest’s view on the traditional bilateral friendship, noting that he hopes his country’s relations with Vietnam will be strengthened via mutual visits at all levels.
He added he will soon pay a visit to Vietnam to discuss measures to foster bilateral ties.
Later on October 17, Vice Chairwoman Phong attended the closing ceremony of the IPU-141, which adopted the Belgrade Declaration on strengthening international law.
NA Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong (L) attends the closing ceremony of the IPU-141 in Belgrade on October 17 (Photo: VNA)
The declaration highlighted the importance of a rules-based peaceful world order and the role of multilateral institutions with the United Nations being the foundation to resolve common challenges and disputes among countries. It also stressed that regional cooperation is a critical element in enhancing the law-based world order, thus helping to peacefully settle disputes and promote sustainable peace.
The IPU-141 also adopted a resolution entitled “Achieving universal health coverage by 2030: The role of parliaments in ensuring the right to health”. The resolution underscored the importance and necessity of universal health coverage, especially of women, children, the elderly, the disabled, and other vulnerable groups in society.
The high-ranking NA delegation of Vietnam, led by Vice Chairwoman Phong, took part in all activities of the IPU-141 and actively gave opinions at sessions of the IPU Executive Committee and Governing Council, the Forum of Women Parliamentarians, the ASEAN Plus 3 mechanism, the IPU’s Asia-Pacific geopolitical group, the IPU Committee on Democracy and Human Rights, and the IPU Committee on UN Affairs.
Vice Chairwoman Phong delivered a speech at the plenary session of the IPU-141, which was themed “Strengthening international law: Parliamentary roles and mechanisms, and the contribution of regional cooperation.”
On the sidelines of the IPU-141, the Vietnamese delegation had bilateral meetings with officials of the host country and partners, including the IPU President and Secretary General, and heads of the delegations of Laos, Myanmar, Australia, Cuba and Belarus.
The participation in the IPU-141 continued to help improve Vietnam’s stature in the international arena through playing an active role in resolving regional and global challenges, and directing other countries’ attention to regional security issues relevant to Vietnam’s benefits, especially when it will serve as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021, ASEAN Chair in 2020, and Chair of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) for 2019-2020.