Parliamentarians from 21 countries appreciated Bhutan for successful APA
Hosting for the first time of international conference on Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) in Bhutan, the parliamentarians from 21 countries appreciated for successful conducting of two days conference which ended last Friday.
Moreover, all 21 countries representative appreciated about His Majesty The King for the leadership providing to the Bhutanese Government, adopting the Constitution and devolving the power to the people and amongst all preservation of culture that Bhutan holds closed to our heart.
The Speaker Jigme Zangpo was newly elected chair of the standing committee said that he was requested by 21 countries representative that this appreciation should go straight to His Majesty The King.
“So Chairperson of National Council and I have assured to them that this appreciation will be sent to Office of Gyalpoi Zim-pon right away,” added the Speaker.
Meanwhile, the 10 resolutions of a standing committee meeting on social and cultural affairs covered a wide range of issues of mutual interest such as culture, information technology, health equity, migrant workers, corruption, woman parliamentarians, inter-faith dialogue, smuggling of cultural objects, drug trafficking, and humanitarian aid to the Asian countries going through a humanitarian crisis.
The Chairperson of the National Council, Dasho (Dr) Sonam Kinga in the closing session said building friendship and partnership among the Asian countries was crucial for no country could walk into the future in isolation. He said that the meeting was the beginning of many such multilateral parliamentary meetings and interactions.
Hon’ble Chairperson shared a story about the high level of support Bhutan enjoyed during its admission bid to the United Nations in 1971. He named a number of Asian countries, including Bangladesh, Bahrain, Pakistan, and Syria that supported Bhutan’s membership to the UN on account of its natural beauty, rich culture and traditions. “These countries were not referring to Bhutan as an economic power but as a country rich in culture and traditions,” he said. “The very subject we have been discussing in this meeting.”
The Speaker said that the meeting was truly a meeting of minds. “This is going to benefit the 4.4 billion people in all the Asian countries and beyond,” he said.
The resolution on measures to promote cultural diversity and protect cultural heritage in Asia underlines the significant role of parliaments play in promoting cultural diversity and multicultural dynamism. It calls for APA member parliaments to consider, among others, facilitating intercultural dialogue, people-to-people interactions, common legislations, and instituting an award for Asian artists.
The resolution on ICT underlines how integration among the peoples of Asia could be enhanced through information and communication technology. The resolution on harnessing the power of ICT calls upon the APA member parliaments to voluntarily commit their services and resources for
the creation of a ‘Virtual Asian Parliament’ which is ultimately expected to result in a model Asian parliament.
The resolution on health equity calls upon APA member parliaments to cooperate and collaborate on bringing equity in health services. The resolutions urge parliamentarians to rectify international conventions on health and push for relevant policies.
The resolution on migrant workers underlines the importance of establishing a national legal framework as well as a broad legal framework for the protection of migrant workers in the region.
The resolution on cor- ruption underlines the importance of preventing and combating all forms of corruption at all levels, including money laundering and abuse of power.
The resolution on women parliamentarians underlines the importance of reaffirming the inclusion of women in positions of power and elected bodies, and their involvement in the decision-making process. It calls upon parliamentarians to adopt legislations to encourage women’s participation in social, cultural, economic, and political affairs.
The resolution on interfaith dialogue underlines that inter-faith harmony, particularly in Asia, ‘is of utmost importance for the survival of mankind and the promotion of the culture of peace, security, and tolerance’. It urges parliaments to promulgate laws to enhance tolerance for religious beliefs of others.
The resolution on combating the smuggling of cultural items underlines that losing cultural items to smuggling is a threat to the richness of Asian cultural heritage and, therefore, calls for a national strategy and a legal framework to combat it. The resolution also calls for the ratification of the International Convention for the Safeguarding of World Natural and Cultural Heritage and the International Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The resolution on illicit drug trafficking underlines the negative impact of drug trafficking on health, safety, public order, governance, economic development and social health. It calls for a review of relevant legislation, exchange of information and best practices, and enlisting civil society as partners of parliaments.
The next proposed resolution which was proposed by Russia about the Humanitarian Aid to Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Myanmar on the Verge of Humanitarian Catastrophe was also adopted anonymously by the parliaments.
This resolution underlines the urgent need to extend humanitarian aid to countries facing a humanitarian crisis such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Myanmar.
Meanwhile, the ten resolutions of the Standing Committee will be submitted to the Executive Council of the APA and further to the 10th Plenary for the final adoption.
While more than 100 parliamentarians from 21 countries, including 12 parliamentarians from Bhutan attended the APA committee meeting and the next APA committee meeting will be held in Cambodia.
The Asian Parliament Assembly was born in 2006 at the seventh session of the Association of the Asian Parliamentary for Peace (AAPP). There are 42 Member countries, 16 Observers for APA.