Lao PDR’s first Voluntary National Review is presented at the UN High-Level Political Forum in New York
Vientiane/New York, 17 July 2018
Three years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, H.E. Mr. Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR, has presented the country’s first Voluntary National Review on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the UN High-Level Political Forum, which takes place on 16-18 July 2018 in New York. Lao PDR is one of 47 Member States presenting their national review this year.
Photo: Ang Chen/RBAP UNDP
The Lao report was developed in close consultation with line ministries, Government agencies and local authorities, as well as development partners, civil society organisations and private sector. Lao PDR was among the earliest countries to localize the SDGs and integrate them into its national planning framework. To this end, the eighth National Socio-Economic Development Plan (8thNSEDP) has the SDGs embedded into its three outcomes, each of which relates to one of the three dimensions of the 2030 Agenda: economic, social, and environmental.
The Voluntary National Review suggests that strong economic growth in the recent years, with a focus on rural development and poverty reduction, have helped Lao PDR to meet two of the three inter-related criteria for graduation from Least Developed Country (LDC) status for the first time ever this year.
“This Report takes a critical look at progress and challenges in each area, as well as lessons learnt and way forward. Lao PDR will continue to work closely with the international community and relevant stakeholders to ensure steady progress towards the SDGs, achieving LDC graduation, and improving the well-being of all citizens”, says Prime Minister and Chair of the National Steering Committee on SDGs, Mr. Thongloun Sisoulith.
Lao PDR’s Voluntary National Review highlights that the country has achieved the MDG target of halving the proportion of malnourished people and universal coverage in primary enrolment; ensured access to electricity for 92 percent of households in the country; ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change; and reduced UXO casualties by 85 per cent over the last decade. The Review also reflects on the many remaining challenges and the way forward.
During the High-Level Political Forum, Lao PDR is holding a side event on its national SDG 18, called “Lives safe from unexploded ordnance (UXO).” UXO contamination continues to affect national development, for instance by limiting the use of land for agriculture, making infrastructure construction costly and dangerous, and holding back development. Therefore, SDG 18 is one of Lao PDR’s top priority goals.
Attending the UN High-Level Political Forum is a valuable opportunity for Lao PDR to exchange, learn and further strengthen international cooperation to help Lao PDR achieve its national goals within the SDG framework.
The report is available here.
For more information, please contact:
Deputy Director, UN Economic and Social Affairs Division
International Organizations Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR
23 Singha Road, Vientiane, Lao PDR
Tel: +856 (021) 45 35 86, Fax: +856 (021) 26 27 11, Cell: +856 (020) 77 75 90 54
Communications Associate, UNDP in Lao PDR
Tel: +856 21 267 751, +856 20 777 118 74