Vientiane, 26 February 2021 – The Department of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) together with the United Nations (UN), jointly organized the ‘Technical Meeting of the Government of Lao PDR – United Nations Joint Steering Committee’, at the International Cooperation and Training Center. The meeting was Co-Chaired by Mr. Maythong Thammavongsa, Director-General of Department of International Organizations, MoFA, and Ms. Sara Sekkenes, UN Resident Coordinator to Lao PDR. More than 40 representatives participated in the Meeting, including representatives from eleven line ministries and fourteen UN agencies.
The meeting aimed to review the progress achieved under the current Lao PDR-UN Partnership Framework 2017-2021, and draw lessons from the challenges and opportunities encountered. Reflecting on a recent independent evaluation of the Partnership Framework and the findings from UN analysis of development trends, challenges, opportunities, participants further exchanged on the design of a new Lao PDR-UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2022-2026, guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and aligned with the ambitions outlined in the 9th National Socio-economic Development Plan which will soon be adopted.
On this occasion, Mr. Maythong Thammavongsa stressed the important partnership between the Government and the UN System, recognizing the UN’s significant contribution in terms of policy support, technical expertise and resources in the pursuit of national development priorities. He further emphasized the need to enhance Government ownership in designing a clear strategic cooperation framework, building on inputs from all key stakeholders to ensure that it responds to national strategic priorities and lays the foundation for a smooth graduation from the Least Developed Country status.
On the same note, Ms. Sara Sekkenes, UN Resident Coordinator to Lao PDR expressed that “the co-creation of the next Government of Lao PDR - UN Cooperation Framework is crucial in ensuring the co-ownership that speaks to the development needs and priorities that leaves no one behind and the comparative contributions of the UN development system alongside that of other development partners. Planned broader consultations will help us move towards that goal and work will continue over the weeks ahead, but today’s meeting is the starting point and critical to ensure that we set off on the right foot.”
During the meeting both parties agreed on the publication of the UNPF 2019 Progress Report, the tentative priority areas of the new cooperation framework under the five dimensions of the 2030 Agenda of People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships, and the overall imperatives of sustainable and inclusive development, social development and effective institutions. The outcome of the meeting will serve as a key step for both parties to develop the new Cooperation Framework and prepare a series of joint stakeholder consultations with development partners, the private sector and civil society, among others, to ensure an inclusive process that can build the broader partnership needed towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. A High-Level Meeting of the Government of Lao PDR and UN Joint Steering Committee is planned to be organized in mid-2021 to formally endorse the new Cooperation Framework.