VNR Dissemination & LDC Graduation Smooth Transition Strategy


Vientiane, 20 October 2021, the National Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Secretariat in partnership with the United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office, jointly organized the virtual ‘Stakeholder Engagement Seminar – Outcomes of the 2nd Voluntary National Review and Pre-Consultation for the 13th High-Level Round Table Meeting’. The meeting was chaired by H.E Mr. Phoxay KHAYKHAMPHITHOUNE, Deputy-Minister of Foreign Affairs, and co-chaired by Ms. Sara Sekkenes, United Nations Resident Coordinator to the Lao PDR. The seminar was attended by more than 150 participants from the Government sectors, namely the National SDG focal points from line ministries and ministry-equivalent organizations; the UN agencies, civil society organizations, international non-governmental organizations, private sector and other relevant sectors.

The main objective of the seminar was to present and disseminate the outcomes of the 2nd National Voluntary Review (VNR) on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Lao PDR, to different stakeholders in the society and to encourage the implement in their sector, particularly after the Government of Lao PDG had successfully presented the voluntary report at the UN High-Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development which organized in July 2021. In addition, the seminar was aimed to provide discussion platform and encourage the participation of different stakeholders in the drafting process of the smooth transition strategy to prepare the Lao PDR graduation from the Least Developed Countries status. The outcomes of this seminar will also feed into the discussion of the 13th High-Level Round Table Meeting, which will organize in November 2021, as well as the Annual Meeting of the National Steering Committee for SDG by the end of this year.

On this occasion, H.E Mr. Phoxay KHAYKHAMPHITHOUNE, Deputy-Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed the important of the Voluntary National Review, which demonstrated the strong commitment of the Government in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, by reviewing the progress and achievement made, including challenges in the implementation of the global agenda for the past years. On the same note, H.E Chair of the Meeting also commended the active contribution and participation of different stakeholders in the society, namely the input of data and information from the focal points of line ministries and ministry-equivalent organizations whom had made this 2nd VNR a successful one. Furthermore, he also emphasized that the Government has committed to implement the SDG and made number of achievements, particularly in poverty reduction. However, due the impacts from COVID-19 outbreak had made the achievement of the SDG a challenging task. Against this backdrop, it is urged that all sectors and stakeholders in the society to joint efforts in implementing the SDG in their respective sectors in line with the 9th Five-Years National Socio-Economic Development Plan, together with the recovery effort from the COVID-19 impacts. Moreover, in conjunction that the Lao PDR has successfully met the LDC graduation criteria at the Triennial Review by the United Nations Committee for Development Policy (CDP) for the 2nd time in 2021, the Lao PDR is on the path for graduation with the 5-years preparatory period until year 2026, the country will need to build a smooth transition strategy in collaboration with the development partners to ensure that any specific impacts resulting from loss of international support measures for LDCs will not constraint the country’s development trajectory/momentum. The utilization of special support measures will be fully leveraged in the most effective manners during the available timeframe, and other support measures and relevant assistance to prepare the smooth transition in ensuring the optimal readiness, particularly in production capacity development, trade negotiation and human resource investment, and sustainable economic diversification, with the aims for Lao PDR to graduate from the LDC country in a smooth and sustainable manners.

At the seminar, Mr. Sara Sekkenes, United Nations Resident Coordinator to the Lao PDR, referred to the Voluntary National Report (VNR) and underlined the opportunity to take stock- reflecting on progress in the implementation of the NSEDP and considering ways to strengthen policies and institutional arrangements in support of the realization of the 9th NSEDP and the SDGs through the discussion of the High-Level Political Forum in July at which UN member states share their experiences on achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the presentation of their respective VNRs. With the recommendation by the ECOSOC Committee for Development Policy for Lao PDR to begin the process of graduation from being a Least Developed Country (LDC), she suggested a key transition soon to be started which, whilst demonstrating the progress that was achieved, would require careful planning and management. Given the once-in-a-decade global conference on LDC’s taking place in Doha in January 2022, which will set the global agenda on development support to LDCs, she emphasized the crucial opportunity for Lao PDR to clearly articulate how the country would plan to tackle the transition and, whilst the eyes of the world were on LDCs, what expectations of this attention would be in terms of continued support to Lao PDR throughout the transition period and beyond.

Information on SDG implementation in the Lao PDR can be downloaded through SDG Mobile Application via the Mobile Application Store, Play Store or via QR code scan.

For more information, please contact:
Ms. Viengdalat Somphet
Technical Officer, UN Socio-Economic Division, Department International Organisation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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