Lao PDR finalizes the National Action Plan to eliminate asbestos-related diseases among workers to mark the International Labour Day

Vientiane, 30 April 2018

The health of workers in Lao PDR was of key concern in the multi-sectoral consultation meeting to raise awareness on importance of banning chrysotile asbestos, and jointly finalise a National Action Plan to reduce and mitigate asbestos-related diseases in the country.

Relevant stakeholders from the government, non-government organizations and development partners participated actively in the discussion on how to protect the worker and stop the exposure. Urgent action is required to prevent the extended use of asbestos as a construction material and ban all forms of asbestos to protect lives, support safer economic growth and ensure social stability in the country.

Dr Juliet Fleischl, WHO Representative to Lao PDR said “All forms of asbestos can cause cancer in humans, and no threshold has been identified for the carcinogenic risks. This is the conclusion reached by experts from WHO and IARC following a series of authoritative international assessments conducted over a period of more than 15 years.”

Unexploded Ordnance, an obstacle to development

How graduation from Least Developed Country status is linked to Lao PDR’s war legacy 

Vientiane, 4 April 2018
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Lao PDR has just recently fulfilled, for the first time, the eligibility criteria to graduate from Least Developed Country (LDC) status. It has passed two of the three criteria for graduation: Gross National Income per capita and the Human Assets Index, and has come close to passing the threshold for the Economic Vulnerability Index. This is a remarkable achievement which predicts a bright future for the country and its people – but, at the same time, it is by no means a time to lean back and rest. The level of development needs to be sustained in the coming years for graduation to happen. 

The LDC graduation criteria are linked to a significant obstacle to Lao PDR’s development: unexploded ordnance (UXO). Many of the bombs that were dropped on Lao PDR decades ago still lie in the ground, active and treacherous.   

Lao PDR’s eligibility for graduation from LDC status confirmed

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Vientiane, 19 March 2018

The Committee for Development Policy has announced that Lao PDR has fulfilled the eligibility criteria to graduate from Least Developed Country (LDC) status for the first time.

“Human Library” lends a voice to invisible women

Savannakhet, 9 March 2018
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“She must have provoked her husband to beat her up”, “Blind women are helpless, they cannot work and should stay at home”, “You cannot have a family and children if you are HIV positive”, “Once addicted to drugs, one can never return to a normal life” - These are only some of the stereotypes associated with women from disadvantaged groups, who we do not see, do not hear and who are usually ignored by society. The prevalent prejudices many of these women encounter every day contribute to limiting their opportunities and add on the difficulties they are already experiencing.

Little bird, conveying big messages

Vientiane, 13 February, 2018

In remote communities where access to mass media is difficult and limited, community radio plays an important role in providing rural populations with relevant development information that addresses their common needs. A joint project of the United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism of Lao PDR, helps improve access to information and public services for marginalized rural communities. The stations are entirely run by volunteers from the communities, a diverse bunch of inspired, mostly young people, eager to learn and contribute their time and energy. They know the communities, people and various ethnic languages.

Nokna Douangpanya is a National UN Volunteer who is responsible for mobilizing local volunteers, training them, and running the radio programmes.  Ricefield bird, that’s the meaning of Nokna’s name, has been serving as a UN Volunteer in a remote Thatheng district, Sekong province of southern Laos for more than two years. 

A day at the United Nations in Lao PDR

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We are open! Have you been to the United Nations in Lao PDR yet? Nidnapha and Yingyoth, school kids from Vientiane capital, have been there and have something interesting to tell you… 

Wetlands in Vientiane Capital

Wetlands and the paradox of urban development

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Vientiane, 2 February 2018 

At times, the quest for rapid growth and developmental success in our cities can undermine their very foundations. Take the case of Vientiane, a city seemingly on the up. You can see this at street level: flash new coffee shops opening every week, building sites for condominiums promise a revolution in luxurious urban living standards. 

Blood donation drive to mark International Volunteer Day sees large turnout of donors

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Vientiane, 15 December 2017 

More than 500 Vientiane citizens from all walks of life celebrated the International Volunteer Day by making an act of volunteerism and donating blood during the Volunteers Act First: Give Blood, Save Lives event. 

The International Volunteer Day (IVD), established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985, is an initiative where thousands of people all around the world celebrate volunteerism and commemorate its contribution to building the world we want. This year’s campaign aims to promote the contributions of volunteers as first responders in times of crisis.  

Leave No One behind: Advocacy on ending violence against women and girls and ways to reducing HIV impact

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Vientiane, 7 December 2017 

In commeroration of the International Day for Ending Violence against Women and Girls (25 November) and in recognition of the World AIDS Day (1 December), Lao National Commission for Advancement of Women and Mother-Child (NCAWMC) in collaboration with the Committee for Advancement of Women of Ministry of Education and Sports  (MOES) and UN Women and UNAIDS,  organized an inspring event on 7 December at the Dong Khamxang Teacher Training Center.  The theme  for the event was  “Leave no one behind: Advocacy on Ending Violence against Women and Girls on ways to Reducing HIV impact”. 

What does the international Climate Conference COP 23 mean for Lao PDR?

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Vientiane, 11 December 2017

A delegation from Lao PDR participated in the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23), held in Germany in November. Lao PDR’s delegation took part in negotiations on implementing the Paris Agreement and to present the country’s own implementation progress in three side events, discussing issues of circular economy, South-South cooperation and Nationally Determined Contributions. 

World AIDS Day 2017 promotes “Right to Health”

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Vientiane, 1 December 2017 

 

This year’s World AIDS Day campaign promotes the theme “Right to Health” and the challenges that the 36.7 million people worldwide living with HIV face in realising their rights.

The right to health is interrelated with a range of other rights, including rights to clean water, sanitation, decent housing, and access to health services, food, clean environment and safe working conditions. 

Volunteers break stereotypes and inspire Lao youth

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Vientiane, 30 November 2017 

Volunteers are young people, with no experience, waiting for a better opportunity – is the usual stereotype about volunteers. An event named “Volunteers Act First. Here. Everywhere.”, held in Vientiane on 24 November, aimed to break this stereotype by initiating a vivid discussion among youth who joined the event looking for answers to their numerous questions. 

 

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