Bhutan attends first executive council for the Asian parliamentary assembly
The speaker of the National Assembly Jigme Zangpo and MP from Gangzur Minjey Karma Rangdol, attended the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) Standing Committee on Staff and Financial Regulation and 1st APA Executive Council Meeting held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from September 26-27, 2016. Out of 42 member countries for the APA, 22 member countries were present during the meetings.
On 26 September 2016, the speaker and other delegation heads of the member countries of APA attended courtesy call on Dr. Nguon Nhel, second vice-president of the national assembly of the kingdom of Cambodia, representative of Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin, President of the national assembly of the kingdom of Cambodia and president of APA by heads of delegation and acting secretary general of APA.
The executive council meeting discussed on the proposed annual budget of the APA secretariat submitted for consideration and recommendation to the ninth plenary for approval. The budget of the APA is to enable the secretariat to fulfill its obligations in more active and successful manner and pave the way for greater cooperation among Asian parliamentarians. The shares of the members parliaments of the APA budget are divided into six categories approved by seventh APA plenary, which starts from 1%and ends up to 6% where Bhutan falls under 1%for the contribution of the total annual budget.
Further, the meeting discussed on 20 important draft resolutions which have already been deliberated upon in the APA standing committee on political, economic, social and cultural as well as financial and administrative issues to make appropriate recommendations to the plenary for its final decision.
On behalf of National Assembly of Bhutan, the speaker clarified on the acceptance of hosting of APA standing committee meeting on social and cultural affairs, which is scheduled to be held in 2017. It was not voluntarily but on the basis of request from most of the APA member countries. He also apprised in the meeting that he would be committed in principle for the hosting of meeting despite many constraints and prior approval from the government must be pursued.
On 27the September 2016, the speaker attended courtesy call on Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
The President expressed his hearty welcome for the speaker’s visit on behalf of the national assembly of Cambodia and participation in the APA executive council meeting. He stated that although between Bhutan and Cambodia has not yet started formal diplo- matic relationship but through APA and parliamentary cooperation the two countries are getting close.
In addition, he added that the executive council meeting will resolve the draft resolutions into final and hopes to benefit the people of the Asia. He shared that the National Assembly of Cambodia is also enthusiastic to exchange cooperation with Parliament of Bhutan as a responsibility for the Asian family. Their present also invited the speaker to attend Ninth plenary meeting of APA to be held at the end of November, 2016.
The speaker expressed whole-hearted gratitude for the people of Cambodia for hospitality and personal invitation sent by President to attend APA Standing Committee on Staff and Financial Regulation and 1st APA Executive Council Meeting. He voiced to convey the message to the His Majesty and government of the Cambodia.
He shared that Bhutan is a young and unique democracy and in early growing stage. The democracy in Bhutan was formally adopted in 2008 under the leadership of Fourth King, who decided to draft constitution and empowered the Bhutanese people. Being young democracy, he affirmed that Bhutan is ready to work closely and learn from international forums like IPU, APA and others best practices. Hence, we do not waste and invest our huge resources in doing research. He expressed that our development philosophy is Gross National Happiness and we are able to put up this development philosophy in the world forums.
Subsequently, the speaker stated two things that we should keep in the mind: Firstly, he stated that the 21st century is for Asian, even claimed by the world leaders. Secondly, it is the political will of working in cohesion and cooperation to make Asia number one can be materialized by putting little extra hard work.