Laos To Review, Revise Development Strategies
14 June 2012
Laos, in partnership with various UN agencies, has begun a major review of the implementation of the 17-year-old development Program of Action with a view to improving the plan in light of past challenges and achievements, Lao and UN officials said on Thursday.
The review comes as part of an international review of the Program of Action established in 1997 at the UN International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo. A total of 179 countries attended that initial conference which established concrete strategies to promote human rights and dignity, support family planning, sexual and reproductive health and rights, advance gender equality, among other goals.
During a meeting held here Thursday, UN Population Fund (UNFPA) representative to Laos Esther Muia said, "The ICPD Program of Action has initiated and contributed to major achievements in all areas of population and development in Laos. Its implementation is crucial to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals."
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a series of development targets being pursued by the Lao government due by 2015. The goals are closely related to the effort to remove the country from its Least Developed Country (LDC) status by 2020.
Muia congratulated the Lao government on their implementation and substantial progress towards both the MDGs and the ICPD Program, but noted that certain areas where "..we can increase our efforts to accelerate the achievements of targets."
Of the nine MDGs a few have been identified as requiring a greater effort to be completed on schedule, in particular, eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. Several other goals are virtually completed, such as achieving universal primary education which is at 91.6 percent by the most recent estimate.
Deputy Director General of the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment's Department of International Cooperation Saymonekham Mangnormek co-chaired the meeting.
Mangnormek thanked the international partners for their assistance and said, "The results will .. provide us with a roadmap to guide our implementation and ensure we achieve what we have committed to in the new changing economic and social environment in particular as we are approaching the ASEAN integration in 2015 and the goal of (leaving the) LDC in 2020."
The review should be completed in 2014, when the UN General Assembly will meet to discuss the ICPD goals.
« Return to news listing