18 November 2015
The government of Laos hosted a national consultation forum on the United Nation's global ‘Sustainable Development Goals' (SDG) for government ministries and partners working in development in Vientiane last week.
World leaders, including the Lao PDR's President Choummaly Sayasone, adopted the 17 goals at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on September 25 in New York. They aim to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change worldwide by 2030.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dr Kikeo Chanthaboury pledged to support the implementation of the goals for the benefit of all Lao citizens.
“The Sustainable Development Goals mark a major rededication of the world to the commitment to fighting growing inequality, wiping out extreme poverty and tackling the issues of climate change over the next 15 years,” he said.
“On behalf of the Government and people of the Lao PDR, I pledge our support and commitment to working towards achieving the SDGs and look forward to working with our national, regional and global partners to make them a reality.”
“As one of South East Asia's fastest growing economies, the Lao PDR's rise to middle-income status presents us with both burgeoning opportunities and also daunting challenges. With the inspiration and guidance of the SDGs, we are confident of our ability to surmou nt these trials,” he added.
The meeting marked one part of a series of preparatory consultations for the ‘12th High-Level Round Table Meeting,' which will be opened by Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong on November 27.
The High Level Round Table Meeting will bring over 300 delegates from the government of Laos, donor governments, the United Nations, non-profit organisations and the private sector together to chart how the international community can best support the country's next five-year development plan and beyond.
Delegates will discuss the ‘Vientiane Declaration on Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation' at the meeting. The Declaration should guide how development cooperation is done in Laos to 2025. It calls for expanded cooperation with business, civil society, ‘emerging' donor countries, Asean members and ‘traditional' partners from the West, Japan and Australia.
The Declaration builds on an agreement reached in 2006 on the effective use of aid, yet places more emphasis on boosting taxes and other domestic revenues, increasing cooperation with other developing countries, boosting knowledge and technology transfer and closer work with business and civil society.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment has led a range of consultations with line ministries, development partners and other key stakeholders. Consultations are also taking place across key sectors like health, infrastructure, education and rural development, to ensure all have been able to contribute to the declaration.
At the consultation meeting, the Ministry of Planning and Investment also informed all participants of Laos' intention to take part in the second global monitoring exercise on effective development cooperation.
The exercise is under the auspices of a ‘Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation' that brings over 160 countries and 50 international organisations together to make development cooperation more effective.
By Souknilundon Southivongnorath