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ASEAN - Norway and Vietnam - Norway relations: A new milestone marked

September 14, 2020 | 11:42

Within the framework of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) 41 held online for the first time under Vietnam’s Presidency, the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) becomes a new Observer Parliament in AIPA.

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Norwegian Ambassador Grete Lochen. (Photo: VOV)

On this occasion, from Oslo, Norwegian Ambassador Grete Lochen gave an online interview to the Dai Bieu Nhan Dan (People’s Deputies) - the newspaper of the Office of the National Assembly of Vietnam.

In the interview, she affirmed her appreciation that the Norwegian parliament is granted observer status to AIPA at this year’s session in Hanoi. As the Norwegian Ambassador to Vietnam, she was particularly pleased that this happens under the AIPA chairmanship of Vietnam.

The Ambassador stated that this observer status in AIPA is another milestone in the relations between Norway and ASEAN and between Norway and Vietnam as it shows that both sides have common interests in broad institutional cooperation at different levels despite geographical distances between Norway and the ASEAN countries.

Norway is a strong supporter of ASEAN and is celebrating its 5 years’ anniversary as a sector dialogue partner with ASEAN this year. Norway has over the years enjoyed an extensive exchange of political visits and meetings within the ASEAN framework as well as bilaterally with the ASEAN member states.

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Norwegian Ambassador Grete Lochen. (Photo: VOV)

Together, ASEAN and Norway have developed dynamic cooperation in areas of mutual interest, such as sustainable development, climate change, renewable energy, healthy ocean environment, as well as peace and security and international trade. Norway’s trade with the ASEAN countries has tripled over the last decade. Stronger cooperation between AIPA and the Storting will add an important parliamentary dimension to all important policy areas, she added.

Speaking of Norway - Vietnam relations, the Ambassador expressed her happiness to see this relationship evolving throughout these years from traditional development cooperation to now a phase of equal partnership based on trade and investment as well as cooperation at the multilateral level. Next year Norway will be celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations with Vietnam. Norway and Vietnam will also have one year together in the UN Security Council, according to VOV.

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Norway delegation during the web meeting with AIPA’s General Assembly on 8th September. (Photo: Storting​)

As AIPA observer, Norway shares its plans to contribute to the cooperation with AIPA in the coming time. The Storting hopes to strengthen the parliamentary roles in realizing common community values and sustainable development goals and they will do this on very specific policy issues where Norway and ASEAN are already cooperating closely such as on marine pollution, ocean management, blue economy, renewable energy, peace and security, and gender equality.

The Storting also hopes through its cooperation with AIPA to strengthen the multilateral agenda. This is a goal that is essential both to Norway and ASEAN, and where the Storting and AIPA can contribute with important messages of common support. Together, the Storting and AIPA can underline their mutual interest in fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals, strengthening multilateral institutions and cooperation and upholding the rules-based international trading system.

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