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UNDP programmes launched to support further development

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator and Chair of the United Nations Development Group, Ms Helen Clark, visited Laos yesterday to acknowledge the country's progress on the development agenda and launch a strong partnership with the government.

As part of the programme, Ms Clark called on Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, National Assembly President Ms Pany Yathotou and various government officials.

Three new flagship UNDP programmes are expected to provide more than US$103 million in funding, aiming to strengthen development partnerships through the Round Table Process for sustainable development, as well as to support Laos' goal to graduate from Least Developed Country status.

The launch ceremony was held yesterday in Vientiane in the presence of Minister of Planning and Investment Dr Souphanh Keomixay and senior government officials who are implementing partners of the UNDP-supported programmes, other line ministries and development partners.

The key objectives are to strengthen a partnership under the new UNDP Country Programme Laos 2017-2021 through three new flagship programmes centered around the successful implementation of the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan, the strengthening of responsive and engaging governance structures and administrative systems, and the accelerated removal of UXO.

“For the implementation of the 8th Plan, the support from our partners, in particular the UNDP, is important as it will help determine our aspiration to graduate from Least Developed Country status and bring early results in achieving the SDGs,” Dr Souphanh said.

Ms Clark noted that UXO problems have been posing great challenges to the development of Laos, and that the UNDP has renewed its partnerships with the National Regulatory Authority of UXO and Mine Action and UXO Lao.

“During my last visit in 2015, I saw how the clearance of UXO can help create the conditions needed for rural development and access to basic services, such as clearing land for safe schools and play areas to be built,” she said.

The third UNDP programme launched in the presence of the Ministry of Home Affairs, aiming to establish and strengthen governance structures and administrative systems necessary to respond to the needs of all citizens, in a new joint programme with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).

Ms Clark acknowledged donors such as Luxembourg, Switzerland, New Zealand, the European Union, Ireland and others in supporting Laos through the three programmes launched.

She highlighted the strong partnership between the government and UNDP and acknowledged the government's commitment to sustainable and equitable development through the 8th National Socio-Econ omic Development Plan.

“Returning to Laos after my participation in the High-Level Round Table Meeting in 2015, I can see the progress in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, enshrined in the 2030 Agenda. Laos is leading the region in terms of alignment with the global development agenda,” Ms Clark said.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update March 14, 2017)

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