The government of Lao PDR and development partners have agreed on priority action for development.
The agreement was made at the conclusion of the Round Table Implementation Meeting in Vientiane Province on Nov 25 with the government and its partners endorsing the Vientiane Declaration Country Action Plan.
Addressing the Meeting, Mr. Somdy Douangdy, Deputy Prime Minister of Lao PDR said, “Our commitment to the goals of 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan will see Lao PDR graduate from Least Developed Country status by 2020.”
“Today, together with our development partners, including regional partners, the private sector and civil society, we made important progress in the areas of economic stability, green growth, climate change and food and nutrition security,” said Mr Somdy.
Mr Vidong Sayasone, Governor of Vientiane Province stressed the importance of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the local level. Delegates from the international community had the benefit of visiting agricultural, skills training and health projects in the province as part of the meeting.
The Round Table Implementation Meeting was important for the purpose of having a focused discussion between the government and partners on development priorities over the next few years, in particular for translating national policies into concrete action at the provincial and community levels.Minister of Planning and Investment Dr. Souphanh Keomixay appreciated the unprecedented consultative process that had led up to this year’s Round Table Implementation Meeting stating: “The constructive and informative dialogue that has taken place between the government of Lao PDR and its partners in development has resulted in a clear plan of shared actions in key areas going forward”.
Delegates at the meeting were encouraged by the progress that has been made in Lao PDR in integrating the SDGs into the national development agenda, including into Provincial Development Plans.
The SDGs entered into force at the beginning of this year as a global call by world leaders to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
The Round Table Meeting was co-chaired by Ms Kaarina Immonen, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, who stated, “Good progress is being achieved in Lao PDR to strengthen the partnerships needed for accelerated implementation. This is resulting in stronger and more diverse partnerships with regional development partners, the private sector and civil society”.
Participants of the Round Table Meeting agreed to practical next steps in the critical areas of green growth, climate change and disaster preparedness, food and nutrition security, progress on the Sustainable Development Goals and progress on the Vientiane Declaration Country Action Plan.
Other significant issues discussed at the Round Table Meeting included macro-economic stability, the need for higher quality growth, reduced public debt and improved revenue collection.
Dialogue also took place on the relationship between development and human rights, access to justice, services and information.
The government and its partners resolved to look at ways in which the partnerships with the private sector and civil society could be further strengthened to bring more resources and expertise to address priority development challenges. Tackling corruption and illicit activities such as wildlife trafficking were also agreed upon as being important.
Source: Lao News Agency