Peace and Rohingya Issue at AIPA General Assembly
House Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation (BKSAP) Chairperson Fadli Zon (middle) leads Indonesia’s delegation in the Political Committee session during the 41th General Assembly of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) on Wednesday (9/9/2020). Photo: Abu/Man
House Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation (BKSAP) Chairperson, Fadli Zon, led Indonesia’s delegation in the Political Committee session at the 41st General Assembly of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) on Wednesday (9/9/2020). The event, lasting from 8 to 10 September 2020, was held virtually for the first time and hosted by Vietnam as the ASEAN current president.
Zon proposed two draft resolutions in the session. The first resolution called for regional stability particularly on issues relating to South China Sea (SCS) amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and the other resolution was about humanitarian aid for Rohingya refugees. He stressed that regional peace, security, and stability in ASEAN were vital, as well as the current situation in the SCS waters.
ASEAN needs solidity and collectivity to curb COVID-19 transmission and mitigate its socioeconomic impacts. The organization is also urged to address its regional issues on its own, including humanitarian issues of Rohingya refugees.
Regarding the Rohingya issue, Zon regretted Myanmar Parliament's rejection of Indonesian House's proposal on the need of parliamentary roles in addressing the issue as agreed by the ASEAN Member Countries. Myanmar Government is expected to provide humanitarian assistance, ensure a safe and dignified repatriation process of Rohingya refugees. The Rakhine crisis is giving serious cause for concern as it has created a "spillover" effect in the region.
"The spillover effect refers to Rakhine state boat people issue, which has drawn attention to Indonesia and other countries in the region, especially during this pandemic," Zon asserted. The Great Indonesian Movement Party (Gerindra) Politician stated that ASEAN needs to address the issue of around one million Rohingya refugees, especially related to the repatriation agreement.
“Therefore, the Indonesian House reaffirms its position on the humanitarian issue in the Rakhine state. If the AIPA Committee on Political Matters cannot reach a consensus on Indonesia’s proposal, this year’s General Assembly will produce no resolution,” Zon explained. In the meeting, he was accompanied by a Vice Chairperson and a member of the Committee for Inter Parliamentary Cooperation of the Indonesian House, Putu Supadma Rudana and Didi Irawady Samsudin.
Parliaments of 10 ASEAN member states (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), and observers attend this 41st AIPA General Assembly virtually. The delegations participate in online meetings to discuss issues of politics, economy, social affairs, women, young parliamentarian, and organisation. In the end, the General Assembly is expected to adopt resolutions. (ann/sf)