Every year the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) jointly with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) celebrate the World Population Day in Laos. In 2014, the global theme is "Investing in Young People" which aims to increase advocacy for greater investment and attention to young people who is the central to the development agenda.
To mark this important date, a Youth Fair and Concert was held on 11th July at the Budo Centre with participation of 200 young people.
His Excellency, the Minister of Planning and Investment, Mr. Somdy Duangdy and Dr. Hassan Mohtashami, UNFPA Representative
The event was chaired by H.E Mr. Somdy Douangdy, Minister of MPI, who said "Adolescents and youth are central to the future development agenda. It is our responsibility to safeguard their rights and invest in their future by providing quality education, decent employment, effective livelihood skills, and access to comprehensive sexuality education, as well as Sexual and Reproductive Health information and services, which are essential to their development and that of their families, communities and the country as a whole."
"Investing in young people is not only about money. It is also about institutionalizing policies and programmes to put them in the center of our development agenda. No development plan will succeed if we don't acknowledge the power and decisive role of young people to make it happen. At the moment, youth issues are handled by different ministries and mass organizations with much focused efforts. However, a national youth policy and hopefully a coordinating body within the government, is urgently needed to guide this work, ensuring inclusiveness, participation and accountability of all sectors of the youth in the country" said Dr. Hassan Mohtashami, UNFPA Representative.
Many Lao celebrities joined the celebration and performed at the mini-concert including Aluna, Bob Freeman, Ola (from Black Eyes), FangLao Dance Company, Tai, Namfon, The Season, Tookta, Alex, Tot Lina, Joker, Bobby, Num Thao, Anou (from MMAQ), the Lao Youth Union Dance Group, Sinlapa Dance School and the Sikhotabong Karate Do Club.
The event saw the participation of government officials, development partners and private sector who displayed information, services and products for young people. In addition to the activities a selfie contest for young people was rolled out on Facebook to engage young people.
The World Population Day is an annual event, observed on July 11 every year, which focuses attention on global population issues. The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations in 1989. It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987 approximately the date on which the world's population reached five billion people.
For more Information please contact:
Ms. Vanly Lorkuangming
Communication Associate - UNFPA
Tel: + 856 21 315547
Mobile: + 856 20 77822456