23 October 2015
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Dear fellow countrymen and women
and dear friends,
On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations and the 60th anniversary of the cooperation between the Lao PDR and the United Nations, I, on behalf of the government of the Lao PDR, would like to extend my warmest greetings to our leaders, civil servants, military, police, and all Lao people both within the country and abroad, as well as all foreigners residing in the Lao PDR.
Distinguished guests and fellow citizens,
Seventy years ago, after the end of the Second World War, the United Nations was established on October 24th, 1945 with the primary objective of promoting peace, international security, and cooperation on development with a focus upon helping humanity to live in peace, stability, and under conditions favorable for equitable and just development. Throughout this time, the United Nations has carried out its role on the basis of its Charter, and has had many successes in engendering cooperation and protecting and promoting peace and security, as well as cooperation among all countries and peoples throughout the world, actions that have increasingly become the trend of the modern era.
Today, on October 24th, 2015, we stand with the peoples of the world in celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations, which holds important meaning, especially in promoting and ensuring peace and security throughout the world and encouraging cooperation to pursuing sustainable development. The UN is the only universal organization in the world and is an open platform for over 190 member states to have the opportunity to convey their perspectives, find ways and forms of resolving international and regional conflicts, and create and adopt international measures aimed at promoting cooperation.
For the Lao PDR, this year marks the 60th anniversary of Lao-UN cooperation, particularly during a time when cooperation has developed with increasing levels of efficiency and trust. The Lao PDR's keen involvement at all levels of the UN stage attests to our role as a long-standing and active member in various agencies of the UN, including chairmanship of various groups, including Chairman of the Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, Member of the Executive Board of the UNDP and UNFPA, Member of the Executive Board of UNICEF, and other Chairmanships of a number of international meetings within the UN framework. These have enhanced the role of the Lao PDR on the international stage. Cooperative relations between the Lao PDR and the UN have grown steadily, and the official visits to Laos by the UN Secretary-General in 2009 and those regularly made by high-level leaders of various UN agencies were aimed at encouraging and promoting cooperation between the Lao PDR and the UN. In turn, this has enabled the Lao PDR to regularly receive financial assistance and support and technical expertise from the UN agencies throughout the years.
On these solid foundations of trust and cooperation, agencies of United Nations in the Lao PDR have contributed significantly to the socio-economic development of our country. UN agencies, which have representative offices in Laos, and a number of other related organizations that maintain regional offices, continue to support the Lao PDR, especially in the implementation of our National Socio-Economic Development Plans, namely in the areas of public health, education, rural development. The support is consistent with the pursuance of the Millennium Development Goals, and ultimately contributes to the creation of conditions whereby our country can graduate from Least Developed Country status by 2020.
The international community has been focusing on achieving the Millennium Development Goals by the end of 2015. World leaders have recently adopted the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, which are to be implemented by 2030, including 17 goals and 169 targets covering 3 aspects: economic, social and environmental, which will commence on January 1st, 2016. The ultimate objectives of this international development agenda are to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality, create prosperity, and ensure environmental sustainability, while taking into account the actual conditions for development at the country level. The goals will be applied to all countries, whether small, large, developed, or developing, and is a new direction in international development cooperation. The Lao PDR, with the overall support of the international community, in particular from the network of UN agencies, will further elaborate and put into practice the Sustainable Development Goals in order to develop our nation and bring real benefits to all of the Lao people within the allotted timeframe.
This year, the government along with the UN will host the 12th High Level Round Table Meeting on the 27th of November in order to stimulate active dialogue between the Lao government and development partners, with the aim of giving development partners the opportunity to provide constructive feedback in the implementation of the 8th Five-Year National Socio-Economic Development Plan. This is so that assistance is in accordance with the development direction and priorities of the Lao PDR, essentially ensuring efficient use of international assistance. Notably this year, Mrs. Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, as well as in her capacity as the Chairperson of the United Nations Development Group, will officially attend the opening of this meeting and make her second official visit to our country – a testament to the strong partnership between the Lao PDR and the UN in this new period. To celebrate the said UN anniversary occasion, we have organized several activities alongside other nations of the world, including the blue illumination of the Patouxay Monument as a symbol of our partnership, which is a confirmation of our commitment to sustainable development in the Lao PDR and in the world.
Finally, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation and best wishes for success to our leaders, civil servants, military, police, businesspeople, entrepreneurs, and all Lao people both within the country and abroad, as well as foreigners carrying out their duties and living in the Lao PDR. I wish you good health and success in your endeavors, and ask that you join us in celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations and the 60th anniversary of Lao-UN cooperation with both meaning and significance.
The Lao PDR hopes to maintain close ties of mutual cooperation and assistance with the United Nations in the coming years.