HÀ NỘI — A delegation of the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) is taking part in the 143rd Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Spain.
The group was led by Vũ Hải Hà, chairman of the Vietnamese NA's Committee for External Affairs. The opening ceremony took place in Madrid on Friday (local time).
The assembly is hosted by the Spanish Parliament in Madrid during November 26-30.
In attendance were Spain's King Felipe VI, President of the Congress of Deputies Meritxell Batet, President of the Senate Ander Gil, and IPU President Duarte Pacheco.
Nearly 1,500 delegates from 123 member parliaments, eight associate members, and 20 observers were also at the ceremony.
Speaking at the event, King Felipe VI emphasised the importance of the parliament as the central institution of democracy, not only representing the people but also playing a decisive role in fostering political consensus.
The Spanish king also expressed his appreciation towards the IPU's capacity, openness, innovation, and priorities in accordance with the actual needs of the parliaments.
Batet, Gil and Pacheco acknowledged the key role of parliamentary solidarity in addressing global issues, especially climate change and COVID-19, while stressing the need to build trust in democracy and resolving differences through goodwill and dialogues.
Addressing the event via a pre-recorded video, the United Nations (UN) President of the General Assembly Abdulla Shahid and its Secretary-General António Guterres emphasised the importance of parliamentary diplomacy in realising UN agreements, affirming the organisation's commitment to strengthening the strategic relations between the UN and the IPU.
This year's IPU Assembly focuses on the "Contemporary challenges to democracy: Overcoming division and building community", which shows IPU's priority in enhancing parliamentary solidarity and collaboration, bringing forward solutions and strengthening the role of the parliament for a sustainable recovery after COVID-19.
On the same day, the Vietnamese delegation had a meeting with Việt Nam's Honorary Consul in Barcelona Guardans i Cambó.
The meeting centred on the cooperation between the two countries, especially in economic, culture, sports, tourism, and other areas of strength.
The delegation also visited the headquarters of Spain's HIPRA Group to discuss its collaboration projects and activities with Việt Nam, including the testing of a COVID-19 vaccine which is expected to be commercialised in the first quarter of 2022.
The Vietnamese officials will continue participating in other events of the IPU, which include the plenary sessions, the governing council, the standing committees on peace and international security, sustainable development, democracy and human rights, UN affairs, the Forum of Women Parliamentarians, the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments (ASGP), and other bilateral meetings. — VNS
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