Press Release
October 29, 2020

Sotto to preside over the virtual meeting of IPU's Asia-Pacific Group

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, chairman of the Asia Pacific Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (APG-IPU), will preside on Friday, October 30, 2020, over the virtual meeting of the 36-member Asia Pacific Group (APG) of the global organization of national parliaments called the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). This is in preparation for the holding of the 4-day extraordinary virtual session of its IPU Governing Council on November 1 to 4, 2020.

The meeting will be led by Sotto at the Philippine Senate's Plenary Hall and attended virtually by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Congresswoman Anne Hofer, Chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, all members of the PH Delegation to Governing Council. They will be joined through video conference by APG members from Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Lao People's Republic, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

For the record, the other 18 members of the APG are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Fiji, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nepal, Palau, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

The APG is one of the six geo-political groups in the IPU. The other groups are the Africa, Arab, Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the so-called "Twelve Plus" Group consisting mostly of the Western European countries.

The agenda of the meeting includes a report of the ASEAN+3 Chair from Singapore, briefing by the APG Representatives in the IPU Executive Committee, discussions on the election of the new IPU president as well as vacancies to be filled by APG members, and the announcement of the next APG Chair.

"I look forward to hearing from fellow parliamentarians from the Asia Pacific group how parliaments continue to function under the new normal. Certainly, the pandemic has challenged every facet of law-making but the Philippine Senate strives to keep parliamentary processes rolling, including our function to ensure transparency on how our government is responding to this unprecedented health emergency," Sotto said. Sotto holds the APG chairmanship for one year.

Sotto also headed the Philippine delegation to the 141st IPU Assembly on October 13 to 17, 2019 in Belgrade, Serbia.

During the assembly, Sotto presided over the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) + 3 meeting, which is part of the Asia-Pacific Group. The ASEAN+ 3 Group consists of Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, China and Republic of Korea.

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