Washington, DC – Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding the United States’ accreditation of observer status for the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) on November 22 during AIPA’s general assembly in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
 
“I thank the National Assembly of Cambodia and AIPA’s member delegations for officially granting observer status to the United States. This critical elevation of U.S.-ASEAN parliamentary diplomacy will further strengthen U.S.-ASEAN relations and support the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that President Biden and ASEAN Leaders announced earlier this month.
 
“As a Pacific power, the United States has a whole-of-government commitment to ASEAN, which continues to garner strong bipartisan support. Through our engagement in AIPA, we will continue to address shared regional challenges, including climate change, with ASEAN Member parliaments, and enhance food security, public health, and sustainable economic development.
 
“The United States hopes to remain a partner of choice for ASEAN, working to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific, and a peaceful and prosperous Southeast Asia. We will work with our legislative partners in AIPA to uphold a rules-based order by addressing threats to human rights, democracy, and international rules, whether in Myanmar, Ukraine, or in the South China Sea.”
 
The ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) is an ASEAN-associated Parliamentary group dating back to 1975. This past May, Speaker Pelosi requested observer status for the U.S. Congress during the U.S.-ASEAN Summit in Washington, DC. With the addition of the United States, AIPA now consists of 10 ASEAN Member State Parliaments, and seventeen AIPA Observers. In 2008, the United States became the first non-ASEAN country to name an Ambassador and in 2010, the first non-ASEAN country to dedicate a Mission to ASEAN.