Cambodia will host the 43rd ASEAN Inter Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) General Assembly later this month. It will be attended by senior delegates from the 10 ASEAN member states as well as observer nations and other partner organisations.

The delegates will represent the voices of the people of the ASEAN community to promote the goals and vision of the bloc, and contribute ideas to the ASEAN executive branch, to move forward together.

In a November 14 press release, National Assembly (NA) secretary-general Leng Peng Long confirmed that the AIPA would be held in Phnom Penh from November 20-25, with the theme “Advancing Together for a Sustainable, Inclusive, and Resilient ASEAN”.

It said the general assembly would be led by NA president Heng Samrin, who is the AIPA chair this year.

The formal opening of the 43rd general assembly will take place on the morning of November 21 in the presence of King Norodom Sihamoni. Prime Minister Hun Sen, Senate president Say Chhum and Samrin will address the opening.

Peng Long said the AIPA general assembly is of vital importance, as AIPA plays the role of the executive branch for the ASEAN body, which in turn is the executive branch of the ASEAN community. The assembly is held every year after the ASEAN Summit, in accordance with the rotating ASEAN mechanism.

“AIPA will contribute the ideas it considers important and will also discuss the challenges facing ASEAN,” he said.

According to Peng Long, the discussion would focus on promoting women and young leaders, peace, stability, and economic and inclusive cooperation, multilateralism and digital economic development. It would also request the establishment of an ASEAN e-library.

Kin Phea, director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said cooperative mechanisms within the ASEAN framework take many forms. An effective legislative branch is necessary to engage in the principle of multilateralism when discussing regional and international issues.

“It is an important forum to maintain the framework of multilateralism. Along with other ASEAN mechanisms and forums, this allows the bloc to work together, including the legislative and executive branches,” he said.

“In particular, AIPA represents a multilateral legislative branch, which can raise challenges and offer solutions and recommendations to them. This prompts even more comprehensive cooperation,” he added,

The general assembly will also feature several meetings between specialised AIPA commissions.