Sarah Lou Ysmael Arriola, Regional Director for International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Asia and the Pacific paid her first official visit to the Lao PDR with the objectives of further strengthening ongoing cooperation between IOM and the Government and affirm the ongoing provision of technical assistance on migration management and related issues as the country prepares to take on the ASEAN chairmanship in 2024. During her visit, RD Arriola met Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Phoxay Khaykhamphithoune, Vice Minister of Planning and Investment Phonevanh Outhavong, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Baykham Khattiya, Deputy Minister of Public Security, Pol. Maj. Gen. Khamking Phuilamanyvong to express her gratitude for the generous and continued support in coordinating the implementation of IOM programmes in Laos.
Key cooperation highlights have included the signing of the Cooperation Agreement and contributing to the development of IOM Country Strategy 2022-2026 that provides a clear strategic pathway to work within the country and enhances current and future collaborations with the Government of the Lao PDR, donours, UN agencies, and development partners in the country and the region.
Ministers Baykham Khattiya and Phoxay Khaykhamphithoune expressed their great gratitude for the strong and continuous support of the IOM to the Government of the Lao PDR in improving migration management and mainstreaming migration to the policy level with the aim of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
They also commended IOM’s ongoing commitment to leave no one behind and to bolster advancing the migration governance in the country through the whole-of-government and society approach.
RD Arriola also held bilateral meetings with UN Resident Coordinator Sara Sekkenes, and donors, U.S. Ambassador to Laos Peter Haymond, and Australia’s Ambassador to Laos Paul Kelly.
The meetings focussed on mutually improving migration governance in the country, contributions to the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration at the national, regional and international levels as well as the challenges the Lao PDR is facing as a landlocked county bordering five countries with regards to migration.
During her meetings, RD Arriola also reiterated IOM’s commitment to continue its close collaboration with the Government, UN agencies, and developments partners to ensure that IOM’s works are aligned with the Lao PDR’s 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) 2021-2025, the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2022-2026 as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.
She emphasized that IOM’s work would continue to reflect the IOM Global Strategic Results Framework and IOM’s commitments under the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
“IOM stands ready to strengthen collaboration with the wider Government partners including the existing and new partners as well as relevant stakeholders to address the challenge of migration issues in the country, and in strengthening development cooperation to ensure synergies, maximize development returns, and support the Government during the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2024,” said RD Arriola.
Source: Lao News Agency