The Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) Standing Committee meeting on social and cultural affairs would be held from August 31 – September 2 at the Convention Centre in Thimphu.

According to a press release from the National Council, the Association of Asian Parliamentary (APA) for peace, which was established in 1999, was transformed into Asian Parliamentary Assembly in 2006. It also stated that APA is in pursuit of peace based justice and for closer Asian parliamentary cooperation.

Bhutan is hosting the meeting for the first time where parliamentarians from 20 member countries would be participating.

National Assembly Speaker, Jigme Zangpo, is serving as the Vice Chairperson of the Standing Committee on social and cultural affairs. Bhutan has been participating in the meeting since 2013 as one of the member parliaments of APA.

The Standing Committee consists of political, peace and security, social and cultural, economic and sustainable development, and energy.

A press conference was held yesterday on the upcoming meeting.

The three day meeting will discuss measures on protecting cultural diversity and cultural heritage in Asia, Asian integration through information and communication technology, collaboration on health equity, protection and promotion of rights of migrant workers in Asia, and Asian parliamentarians for corruption.

It would also include discussions on APA women parliamentarians and promoting inter-faith dialogue and harmony among world religion, legal and legislative cooperation in combating the smuggling of cultural items in Asia and effective cooperation in combating illicit drug trafficking in Asia.

Apart from these issues, the meeting would also include excursion and series of cultural activities.

The last meeting was held at Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran last year. During the meet, APA passed eight resolutions. APA has 42 member countries and 16 observers today.

Staff Reporter