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Lao govt reaffirms the commitments to ICPD PoA and SDGs

The government has reaffirmed its continuing commitment to speed up efforts to fulfil the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD PoA), Deputy Prime Minister Prof. Dr Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune has said.
Addressing the National Conference on Population and Development 2023 in Vientiane - the first of its kind held in Laos - the DPM said the SDGs and the ICPD PoA can be realised through “the National Socio-Economic Development Plan, sectoral strategies and policies, including the National Population and Development Policy, in close collaboration and with substantive support from all development partners to achieve three transformative results: zero preventable maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning, and zero gender-based violence and harmful practices, including child marriage.”

Professor Dr Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune.

Prof. Dr Kikeo delivered a national statement on accelerating socio-economic development by harnessing the demographic dividend and empowering Lao people’s potential to realise their full potential. He identified the following strategic actions:
I. Harness the demographic dividend by:
Establishing a National Coordination Committee on Population and Development and developing a multi-sectoral roadmap to accelerate implementation of the National Population and Development Policy through integration into the National Socio-Economic Development Plan, sectoral plans and sub-national plans.
Reinvigorating the “Noi framework” and “Noi ecosystem” and scaling-up comprehensive sexuality education to empower adolescent girls and boys in partnership with regional and global development partners.
Prioritising and integrating population dynamics and mega-trends, such as the demographic transition, disparities, digitalisation, and climate change into the Mid-Term Review of the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) for 2021-2025 and the 10th NSEDP for 2026-2030.
II. We will continue to identify and develop a preparedness plan to address climate change challenges faced by the health, protection and other social sector areas by:
Increasing investments to build a resilient health system, including life-saving sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence response services, through the current and next National Strategy on Climate Change and Health Adaptation and related Action Plan.
Generating robust country-specific evidence and data focusing on the social and gender dimensions of climate change, including sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence, to inform national strategies and other action plans.
Continuing to improve and establish a dedicated network of actors on climate change and women’s and girls’ rights, comprising government institutions, the private sector and civil society.
III. We will advance people’s health and wellbeing, including their sexual and reproductive health and rights by:
Increasing investments in family planning and mobilising partnerships and resources for national family planning programmes by developing a comprehensive family planning strategy and costed implementation plan to align with the rapidly changing global situation.
Increasing investments in midwifery regulations, associations and education by developing a national midwifery strategy and costed implementation plan, and ensuring that all midwives are well-trained and deployed to health facilities, especially in remote and hard-to-reach areas.
Investing in youth-friendly health services that are inclusive of vulnerable groups.
Strengthening the population data governance system and national monitoring frameworks for socio-economic development by:
Prioritising and ensuring the use of the 2025 Population and Housing Census and Lao Social Indicator Survey III to inform the 10th NSEDP for 2026-2030.
Investing in evidence generation on mega-trends, such as climate change, demographic transition, disparities and digitalisation for strategic policymaking and programming. 
Reinforcing the national administrative data governance system, including civil registration and vital statistics encompassing disaggregated data, ethnic groups, education, health and disabilities, and sectoral information management systems, among others, to ensure the availability of real-time data for decision-making and planning.
We will engage and ensure the use of all domestic resources and actors, including the private sector and civil society, in support of the ICPD Programme of Action through:
Ushering in new technologies, innovations, and the benefits of scientific progress.
Promoting entrepreneurship and job creation in order to Leave No One Behind.
He added that the Lao government strongly reaffirms the commitments, along with other countries, to fully implement the existing national and sub national population development plans, policies and strategies that align with the ICPD Programme of Action and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The government called on all government sectors at the national and sub-national levels, UN agencies, development partners, civil society organisations and the private sector to put population at the centre of development plans at national and subnational levels aligned with the ICPD Programme of Action and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The two-day conference brought together government institutions, civil society, the private sector and development partners to strategise around key population and development issues and agree on sustainable solutions.
Prof. Dr Kikeo said the landmark event was very successful with the full and active participation and engagement of all sectors.
“As a result, this important conference was able to reach a consensus and achieve its desired results,” he said.


By Times Reporters
 (Latest Update November 6, 2023)

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