On the occasion of the New Year 2017, National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan grants Vietnam News Agency an interview about working results of the National Assembly in the past year as well as its main tasks in the new year. Below are main contents of the interview.
Could you brief on the most remarkable results in the work of the National Assembly in the past year?
In 2016, under the leadership of the Party and with the consensus of the entire people and army, many great events were successfully held in our country. Right in the early days of the year, the XIIth National Party Congress was organized successfully, reviewing the past 30 years of doi moi and charting the course for national development in the new period.
The 70th anniversary of the first general election day of the Vietnamese National Assembly was also held.
After that, on May 22, the elections of deputies to the XIVth National Assembly and all-level People’s Councils for the 2016-21 term were organized in a public, democratic and lawful manner. Voters around the country cast ballots to elect 494 deputies who would represent their will and aspirations to decide on important policies of the country.
Right after the elections, the new National Assembly held its first session to strengthen the organization and personnel of agencies of the National Assembly and the Government and elect high-ranking state leaders.
At its second session, the National Assembly, for the first time ever, decided on a system of medium-term financial and investment plans. It also put forward practical recommendations and solutions, requiring the Government, sectors and local authorities to exert greater efforts to overcome existing shortcomings and weaknesses so as to ensure sustainable and stable economic development, guarantee social welfare, raise the people’s living standards, maintain political stability, strengthen national defense and security, and ensure social order and safety in 2017 and subsequent years.
Aside from opportunities and advantages, many difficulties and challenges are facing our country in 2017. What are the focuses of the National Assembly in the coming time?
Right from the beginning of its tenure, the National Assembly has strived to further improve the quality and effectiveness of legislative work, oversight activities and decision on national important issues. The National Assembly has constantly improved and renewed its operational mode, making a strong impression on voters with its open and democratic debates. In legislative work, the promulgation of laws and ordinances is very important, but it is more important to ensure their practicality, consistency and feasibility. To put an end to the situation that a number of poor-quality laws and ordinances had to be revised time and time again, the National Assembly will continue to renew and improve the quality of legislative work, considering this an objective requirement for fulfilling the tasks in the new period.
The year 2016 was the first year of implementing the 2015 Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents. At the first session of the XIVth National Assembly, deputies devoted time to discussing legislative work, identifying limitations and weaknesses and putting forth initial solutions for the strict implementation of the Law.
In 2017, the central task of the whole political system is to continue implementing the XIIth National Party Congress’s Resolution and the 2013 Constitution. The National Assembly plans to pass 24 bills and consider 14 others. It will oversee the implementation of policies and laws on food safety and on renovation of the state administrative apparatus during 2011-16. At the same time, the National Assembly will consider and decide on many important policies.
In order to raise the quality of legislative work in the coming time, the Government, the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuracy, and related agencies and organizations should properly implement the 2015 Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents and the National Assembly’s Resolution on the 2016 and 2017 law- and ordinance-making program.
Drafting agencies must draft laws and ordinances on schedule and ensure their quality. They must also send dossiers of these draft documents to concerned agencies for comment according to regulations and regularly and closely work with the Ethnic Council and Committees of the National Assembly throughout the drafting process.
So, drafting agencies will have to act more actively and responsibly in the drafting process, especially in studying the opinions of the National Assembly Standing Committee and the National Assembly to revise the drafts.
In 2017, along with considering many important issues of the country, the National Assembly will renew its oversight activities, focusing on key issues in order to create substantial progress in the operation of the state apparatus from the central to grassroots level, ensuring strict observance of law.
I also want to stress that the XIVth National Assembly will further raise the effectiveness of its oversight activities in order to express its role and responsibility for important issues of the nation and burning issues of public concern.
Close relationship between the people and the National Assembly has been viewed as a core issue, creating the strength and driving force for the National Assembly to operate effectively. What are measures to strengthen this relationship?
The National Assembly is elected by the people and National Assembly deputies are representatives of the people. Therefore they must understand the people’s feelings and desires and speak the voice of the people. The National Assembly must discharge its three functions of making laws, conducting supreme oversight and deciding on important issues in conformity with the will and interest of the people.
In order to strengthen the relationship with voters and the people, the National Assembly’s agencies, National Assembly deputies’ delegations and every National Assembly deputy should spend more time with their voters, particularly with voters in the localities where they were elected. As National Assembly deputies represent not only voters in their constituencies but also voters nationwide, they should also learn about the life of the people as well as feelings and desires of voters anywhere, especially those living in ethnic minority areas, deep-lying, remote and difficulty-stricken areas, and overseas Vietnamese.
Through the sessions of the National Assembly, voters may themselves assess the quality of operation of the National Assembly and National Assembly deputies, especially those they have elected. So that, in order to improve the quality of its sessions, the National Assembly will continue to provide training in professional and legal knowledge for National Assembly deputies and create conditions for them to update their knowledge. In my opinion, National Assembly deputies should unceasingly raise their professionalism.
Could you tell us about foreign-relation activities of the National Assembly in the coming time?
The National Assembly has recently deployed the implementation of the Party Central Committee’s Resolution No. 06 on effective integration into the international economy and maintenance of socio-political stability in the context of our country’s participation in new-generation free trade agreements. According to the National Assembly’s program of action, the Committee for External Relations and the Economics Committee will make necessary preparations for the National Assembly to ratify new-generation free trade agreements at appropriate time. The Law Committee will work with the Committee for External Relations and related agencies to study and propose a program on revision of relevant laws and regulations in conformity with the country’s reality and international commitments.
The National Assembly will further promote its relations with foreign national assemblies and parliaments and expand ties with potential partners, aiming at protecting our sea and island sovereignty and national interests and building a peaceful environment conducive to national development. In addition, the National Assembly will continue participating in an active, proactive and responsible manner in the multilateral parliamentary forums, especially the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly. It will expand parliamentary consultancy channels in order to enhance mutual understanding and trust, contributing to solving common problems.
In 2017, the National Assembly will boost the operation of the parliamentary friendship groups and increase coordination among its agencies and deputies in promoting foreign relations of the National Assembly to heighten the prestige and position of our country in the international arena.
Being the first-ever chairwoman of the National Assembly, what are your messages to the people and voters around the country?
At a time when the country is entering a new development era with both advantages and difficulties and challenges, in the spirit of solidarity, creativity and action, the XIVth National Assembly will further renovate and improve the quality and effectiveness of its operation so as to fulfill its tasks with better results. Every deputy and agency of the National Assembly will keep in closer contact with voters so as to identify their problems and put forward proposals to the National Assembly, thus helping the National Assembly fulfill its duties and responsibilities entrusted by the people.
I would like to express my wish that people and voters at home and abroad will unite together to build and develop the country and continue to share and contribute valuable opinions for the National Assembly to better carry out its tasks.-