The Lao PDR and the European Union held their 8th Dialogue on Human Rights and Governance in Brussels, Belgium on Mar 15.
The Lao delegation was headed by Mr. Phoukhong Sisoulath, Director General of the Department of Treaties and Law, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and comprised representatives from the National Assembly, People’s Supreme Court, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Lao Front for National Development and Lao Women’s Union.
While the EU delegation was headed by Mr. David Daly, Head of South East Asia Division at the European External Action Service.
The EU delegation also included EU Ambassador to the Lao PDR Leo Faber, and other representatives from the EEAS and the European Commission.
During the dialogue, which was held in a constructive, candid and meaningful manner, the delegations discussed a wide range of issues such as recent developments on human rights in the Lao PDR and in Europe, ratification of international human rights treaties and new legislations, cooperation with UN special procedures, freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, civil society, rights of women, children and people with disabilities, land rights and biodiversity conservation, transparency and accountability of governance system, combating transnational organized crimes, cooperation in multilateral fora and LDC graduation of the Lao PDR, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in relation to human rights.
The delegations also discussed individual cases of concern to the EU.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which underpins international system of human rights. In this context, both delegations agreed to strengthen their cooperation on the promotion and protection of human rights in bilateral and international fora, including through engagement within UN human rights mechanisms.
The EU noted the Lao government’s efforts to become a rule of law state in accordance with the National Master Plan 2020 and improve access to justice, and encouraged Lao PDR to further improve in this area, including with EU support.
While in Brussels, the Lao PDR delegation also met with EU officials to discuss the functions of the European institutions, visited the European Parliament and participated in a workshop on the role of civil society in Belgium and in the EU in promoting gender equality. The Lao PDR delegation also received briefings on the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice during a visit to The Hague.
The next meeting of the EU � Lao PDR Human Rights Dialogue will be held in Vientiane in 2019.
Source: Lao News Agency