2019 Round Table Process Retreat
Vientiane, 15 February 2019 – The Ministry of Planning and Investment in collaboration with UNDP organized an annual retreat on the Round Table Process.
With active participation of representatives from Government and development partners, including Chairs and Co-Chairs of Sector and Sub-Sector Working Groups, the private sector and civil society, the annual meeting was chaired by His Excellency Dr. Kikeo Chanthaboury, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, and co-chaired by Ms. Kaarina Immonen, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative.
The objective of the meeting was to consult on transforming the key recommendations of the 2018 Round Table Meeting into concrete follow-up actions for implementation, and to discuss the roadmap towards the 2019 Round Table Implementation Meeting, which is expected to take place by the end of the year.
H.E. Deputy Minister Dr. Kikeo Chanthaboury highlighted the importance of this year, where a number of follow-up actions of various milestones and challenges experienced in 2018 will take place. These actions will specifically focus on how to build-back-better after disasters with recovery action plans to be developed and implemented at all levels. Another main point will be the preparation for the formulation of the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP 2021-2025,) taking into account the 8th NSEDP Mid-Term Review results and criteria of the Least Developed Country (LDC) graduation. The progress of implementing the recommendations of the 5th National Human Development Report (NHDR) and preparing for the 6th NHDR with results of various national surveys done in 2018 will be focused on, as well as the follow up from the first SDG Voluntary Review Report presented in New York last year to ensure that SDGs are properly mainstreamed, integrated into national frameworks and monitored at all levels. The 2019 Round Table Implementation Meeting which will not only look into the implementation of the key recommendations from 2018, but also discuss and consult on key content of the 9th NSEDP.
“The Round Table Process including the Sector Working Groups (SWGs) continues to stimulate substantive policy dialogue on the country’s development agenda, while seeking to strengthen development effectiveness and aid coordination in the country. In particular, the process has been providing key recommendations for strengthening national policies and actions by the Government of Lao PDR and Development Partners towards enhancement of the human impact of development cooperation,” the Deputy Minister reiterated.
H.E. Dr. Chanthaboury also provided key guidance that “national development policies will have greater impacts if they are constructed based on what actually happens on the ground and at the sectoral level. This will also ensure effective policy implementation for sustainable development.” Dr. Kikeo also urged both government agencies and development partners to think strategically in preparing for this year’s Round Table Meeting, while continuing to take forward the recommendations of past meetings and keeping progress on track.
Ms. Representative Kaarina Immonen stressed: “The Round Table Meeting and its process have grown in stature over the years as a result of everyone’s efforts. The dynamic of our consultations has continued to become more open through a frank exchange and mutual learning. This is both an asset, and a reflection of the mutual trust, understanding and shared accountability among all stakeholders”. Looking at the work to be performed by the Government and its development partners in 2019, Ms. Immonen added that “all these valuable data [collected in 2018] and the further localization of SDGs will help to address the remaining gaps between now and 2030. In order to do so, we need to renew joint efforts and do our best to achieve the targets of the global Agenda, ensuring that NO O NE is left behind”. Ms. Immonen said also that “the Government will also need to further look at and measure the implications AND opportunities arising from [the LDC graduation] process”. She concluded saying: “(…) let us all continue in 2019 to work towards achieving our common objectives, in the same spirit of productivity and partnership which prevailed over the past years. The UN, and in particular UNDP, are keen to continue the inclusive and fruitful partnership and to work very closely with [all stakeholders]. I wish also to specifically acknowledge the support of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg [to the Round Table Meeting]”.
The meeting also kept the momentum of the NO PLASTIC campaign run during the 2018 Round Table Meeting “for a bright future”.
The meeting was carried out successfully and closed at noon of the same day.
Mr. Morakot Vongxay, Director of International Organizations Division, Department of International Cooperation, MPI, Tel.: +856 21 222 214, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Jerome Dubois-Mercent, Head of Governance and Livelihoods & Poverty Reduction Units, UNDP Lao PDR, Tel.: +856 21 267 777, Email: email@example.com