LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC

NATIONAL ROUND TABLE PROCESS

The Government of Lao PDR & partners agree priority actions for development

Round Table Implementation Meeting in Vientiane Province pursues accelerated development

Vientiane, 25 November 2016 – The two-day Round Table Implementation Meeting concluded in Vientiane Province today with the Government and its partners endorsing the Vientiane Declaration Country Action Plan.

Addressing the Meeting, His Excellency Mr. Somdy Douangdy, Deputy Prime Minister of Lao PDR stated: “Our commitment to the goals of 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan will see Lao PDR graduate from Least Development Country status by 2020. Today, together with our development partners, including regional partners, private sector and civil society, we made important progress in the areas of economic stability, green growth, climate change and food and nutrition security.”

Hosting the Round Table Implementation Meeting for the first time, His Excellency 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 the development priorities over the next few years, in particular for translating national policies into concrete action at the provincial and community levels.

H.E. Dr. Souphanh Keomixay, Minister of Planning and Investment, 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 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.

Round Table Meeting Co-chair Ms. Kaarina Immonen, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, stated: “Good progress is being achieved in Lao PDR to strengthen the partnership needed for accelerated implementation. This is resulting in a stronger and more diverse partnership with regional development partners, the private sector and civil society”.

The Round Table Meeting agreed practical next steps in four critical areas:
1. Green growth, climate change and disaster preparedness
2. Food and nutrition security
3. Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals
4. 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 partnership 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 as being important.

Contacts
• Mr. Morakot Vongxay, Director of UN Division at Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Planning and Investment: Tel: 021-222214, Email: k_vongxay@hotmail.com
• Ms. Ildiko Hamos-Sohlo, Communications Specialist, Head of Public Information Unit at UNDP: Tel: 021 267 778, Email: ildiko.hamos@undp.org