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Laos calls for UN programmes to match development goals

Laos would like United Nations (UN) cooperation programmes to comply with the priorities laid out in the development plans of the countries it is assisting, to help them achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith stressed this perspective in his remarks at the opening session of the 2017 Regional Management Meeting for UNDP's Regional Bureau for Asia-Pacific held in Bangkok, Thailand, recently .

“The minister emphasised that UN-determined programmes for countries receiving cooperation should be in compliance with the socio-economic development conditions of those countries, and especially match the priorities and focuses of national development,” a press release from the ministry stated.

“This will enable countries to achieve the international Sustainable Development Goals,” Mr Saleumxay was quoted by the press release as saying.

The minister informed meeting participants about government development priorities in the new era, which he said were included in the current National Socio-Economic Development Plan, and complied with the international SDGs, focusing on building essential factors for graduation from Least Developed Country (LDC) status.

He pointed to the government having increased the investment and budget allocation in fundamental sectors, including education, health, and infrastructure development in rural areas alongside improvements to the capacity of human resources.

“Significant investments in socio-economic development, including in infrastructure, will be required for Laos to graduate from LDC status and transform itself from a landlocked to a land-linked country,” the minister said.

In addition, he said, investment in infrastructure was necessary to promote trade, investment and travel within Laos and between countries, as well as regional integration, which would drive stable and sustainable economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

The meeting was entitled “Achieving SDGs in a New Development Era”.

The Lao minister gave his view on the socio-economic development situation in the region and opportunities and challenges in achieving the SDGs.

He noted the role and obligations of the UN and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in assisting countries in development amidst the international community's facing various challenges and renovations.

He referred to the UN as a whole and the UNDP in particular, saying they were good development partners to governments and helped developing countries to achieve their national goals as well as contribute to achieving regional and international common goals.

“It is vital that over the long-term, countries in the region, the UN development system as a whole and UNDP in particular, along with donor countries, proactively pool all their efforts to address the challenges and achieve sustainable development,” Mr Saleumxay said.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update March 21, 2017)

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