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Laos, EU agree to promote, protect human rights

The Lao government and the European Union (EU) have agreed to strengthen their cooperation in promoting and protecting human rights in bilateral and international forums, according to a joint press release issued by the EU-Lao PDR Human Rights Dialogue.
The agreement was reached at their 8th Dialogue on Human Rights and Governance held recently in Brussels, Belgium.
The Lao delegation attending the dialogue was headed by the Director General of the Department of Treaties and Law, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MrPhoukhongSisoulath.
The EU delegation was led by the Head of the South East Asia Division at the European External Action Service, Mr David Daly.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which underpins the international system of human rights.
“In this context, both delegations agreed to strengthen their cooperation on the promotion and protection of human rights in bilateral and international fora, including through engagement within UN human rights mechanisms,” the joint press release said.
During the dialogue, the delegations discussed a wide range of issues such as recent developments on human rights in Laos and Europe, ratification of international human rights treaties and new legislation, cooperation with UN special procedures, and freedom of expression.
Civil society, rights of women, children and persons with disabilities, land rights and biodiversity conservation, transparency and accountability of governance system were also discussed.
Participants also discussed the fight against transnational organised crime, cooperation in multilateral forums, Laos’ graduation from Least Developed Country status, and the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development in relation to human rights.
“The delegations also discussed individual cases of concern to the EU,” the joint press release said.
The talks were held in a constructive, candid and meaningful manner.
The EU noted the Lao government’s efforts to become a rule of law state in accordance with the National Master Plan 2020 and improve access to justice, and encouraged Laos to further improve in this area, including with EU support.
While in Brussels, the Lao delegation met with EU officials to discuss the functions of European institutions, visited the European Parliament, and participated in a workshop on the role of civil society in Belgium and in the EU in promoting gender equality.
The Lao delegation also received briefings on the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice during a visit to The Hague.
The next meeting of the EU–Lao PDR Human Rights Dialogue will be held in Vientiane in 2019.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
March 21,

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