2019 Round Table Implementation Meeting Enhances Development Cooperation in Lao PDR for the Implementation of the 8th NSEDP and Preparation of the 9th NSEDP
Luangprabang, 26 November 2019 – The Round Table Implementation Meeting (RTIM) 2019 was held on 25-26 November in Luangprabang at the Provincial Governor’s Office under the topic of “Enhanced partnership for Effective Development Cooperation to accelerate the implementation of the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) and for the preparation of the 9th NSEDP”. The event brought together for constructive discussions more than 300 participants, including central and provincial Government officials (including 18 provincial Planning and Investment Departments), representatives of the National Assembly, development partners, non-governmental and non-profit organizations, as well as private sector.
The second day of the RTIM 2019 was held in the format of the High-Level Dialogue, opened by H.E. Dr. Sonexay Siphandone, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Planning and Investment, and co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Khamkhan Chanthavisouk, Governor of Luangprabang province, and Ms. Sara Sekkenes, UN Resident Coordinator to Lao PDR.
In the opening remarks, H.E. Dr. Sonexay Siphandone, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Planning and Investment, stated, “The Government of Lao PDR is focusing on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and especially on achieving the Lao PDR National SDG18 – “Lives Safe from Unexploded Ordnances (UXO)”. For moving towards the graduation from the Least Developed Country Status (LDC), the second review of the graduation criteria will be undertaken in 2021. If Lao PDR passes the review, the country is likely to successfully graduate from the LDC status in 2024. Currently, Lao PDR meets 2 of the 3 criteria which are Gross National Income (GNI) per capita and Human Assets Index (HAI), while the Economic Vulnerability Index (EVI) criteria is yet to be achieved. This is partly caused by distribution of the planned budget for addressing the impact of the natural disasters and rebuilding the infrastructure as part of the disaster recovery measures”.
Mr. Khamkhan Chanthavisouk, Governor of Luangprabang province, mentioned in the remarks that the province is focusing on implementation of the Luangprabang Socio-Economic Development Plan for the 9 months in 2019 and preparation of the next Provincial Socio-Economic Development Plan (2021 – 2025).
Ms. Sara Sekkenes, UN Resident Coordinator in Lao PDR, noted that “the Round Table Meeting made it even more so clear how important is the linkage between planning and budgeting and alignment of various planning instruments and priority processes, and better linking national policies and strategies with local level implementation through provincial and district planning in the context of the Three Builds strategy, including the LDC transition strategy, Green Growth Strategy and National Disaster Recovery Framework and National Strategy for DRR, under the overall wireframe of SDGs to be captured in the 9th NSEDP (2021-2025)”. Ms. Sekkenes further added that “Remarkable efforts have been made in a number of socio-economic sectors, crucial for SDG achievement and to secure sustainable LDC graduation, though continued progress is needed to address the growing disparities recognized based on ethnicity, language, gender, age, educational attainment, disability, and social-economic status that otherwise risk leaving the most vulnerable groups of population behind”.
The participants of the RTIM 2019 presented and consulted on the key results of panel discussions which were conducted during the Technical Forum on 25 November focusing on the 4 topics:
- At the Panel Discussion on LDC Graduation – Trade, Official Development Assistance and Financing Opportunities in the transition period, participants discussed key areas which required special attention from the Government and Development Partners including long-term planning in line with the National Budget, the improvement of cooperation mechanism to ensure an effective resource mobilization and poverty reduction;
- At the Panel Discussion on SDG Agenda 2030: Localization, Implementation, Monitoring and Reporting, participants underlined the importance of the engagement of all sectors, the integration of SDGs into the National Socio-Economic Development Plan in line with the Vientiane Declaration Country Action Plan to ensure the effective implementation of SDGs;
- At the Panel Discussion on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and recovery, the participants discussed the Indicative support and next steps in integrating DRR into the 9th NSEDP;
- At the Panel Discussion on Integration of Climate Change including Green Growth strategy in Lao PDR’s National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP), participants agreed on the importance of engagement and coordination between all sectors as well as the intensification of Capacity building and awareness raising on Climate Change.
The meeting also covered the recommendations on the implementation of the National Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2019, priorities for 2020 and preparing for the planning of the 9th NSEDP (2021-2025). The participants consulted on the implementation of the current national planning objectives and integration of the above priority areas into the future national planning, complimented by efficient monitoring and reporting. The outputs of discussions will feed into the 2020 High-level Round Table Meeting, ahead of the endorsement of the 9th NSEDP, initial concept of which was also shared during the event.
Moreover, the chairs and the delegates of the RTIM 2019, as well as a group of 60 Luangprabang secondary school students also visited the Development Exhibition that showcased the work of the ten Sector Working Groups, development achievements and partnership to illustrate the key subjects discussed at the event.
The RTIM 2019 was hosted by Luangprabang province, which facilitated a detailed look at the linkage between the national and provincial planning, and a discussion of the current provincial development plans and formulation of the next ones.
For capitalizing on Lao PDR’s green footprint in line with the national Green Growth Strategy, the event continued last year’s initiative of cutting down on single-use plastics. Each delegate received a reusable bamboo cup and a handmade tote bag produced locally in Luangprabang and Savannakhet, to lead by example and ensure a plastic-free future for Lao PDR.
Round Table Implementation Meetings are part of the national Round Table Process, a mechanism to ensure maximum impact of development efforts. RTIM 2019 is co-chaired by the Ministry of Planning and Investment of Lao PDR, Luangprabang Province and the United Nations, and supported by Luxembourg Aid & Development and the UN Development Programme.
The RTIM 2019 facilitated constructive and inclusive discussions which contributed to enhancing effective development cooperation and partnership towards achieving the national goals and ensuring, in line with the Agenda 2030, sustainable development for all people of Lao PDR, leaving no one behind. After the meeting, the Ministry of Planning and Investment will accompany heads of development partner delegations to pay a courtesy call to the Prime Minister of Lao PDR to debrief on the outcomes of the Round Table Implementation Meeting 2019 on 29 November in Vientiane.
Mrs. Bangthong Thipsomphanh, Director of Europe-America Division, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Mobile: +856 20 2223 7997, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Anna Perkova, Communications & Partnership Support Officer, UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Lao PDR, Mobile: +856 20 5802 0829, Email: email@example.com