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Govt, Int’l Organisations Discuss SDG Strategies

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The government and international organisations with a presence in Laos have held a pre-consultation on the Sustainable Development Goals in preparation for the 2016 Round Table Implementation Meeting to be held from November 24-25 in Vientiane province.

The 2016 Round Table Implementation Meeting (RTIM) SDG Pre-consultation took place in Vientiane on Thursday and was attended by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Thongphane Savanphet, UNDP Resident Representative, Ms Kaarina Immonen, development partners and officials.

The main presentation during the meeting centred on the progress made in integrating the SDGs into the national development agenda, monitoring and statistical frameworks.

The purpose of the pre-consultation was to provide an important and timely platform for all national and international stakeholders to engage in dialogue on how the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be accelerated, beyond the ongoing SDGs integration into national plans and systems. It will help generate a common understanding of current conditions, challenges, priorities and the opportunities ahead.

The Round Table Forum serves as a forum for the government to receive feedback from various stakeholders on needs assessments and costing, monitoring, acceleration, institutional arrangements and issue-based partners.

The dialogue between the government and its development partners will help develop key messages to be conveyed by the government and lead development partners at the panel discussion and plenary dialogue during the RTIM2016.

It will also provide an opportunity for the government to launch the Development Finance and Aid Assessment, with its recommendations for effective management of development finance for sustainable development.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Thongphane Savanphet said the adoption of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development last year was a historic milestone for the international community, reflecting the global commitment to eradicating poverty, fighting growing inequality, promoting inclusive and sustained economic growth, addressing a range of social needs and leaving no one behind.

He noted that it also took into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and shows respect for national policies and priorities.

“I do believe that the 17 Sustainable Development Goals provide the blueprint for the international cooperation and development of countries around the world over the years to come,” Mr Thongphane said.

It is important to recognise that some goals and targets would be more applicable to the Lao PDR’s national circumstances than others, thus requiring more focus and priority, he added.

“Like the integration of the MDGs into our National Socio-Economic Development Plans over the past decade, we have mainstreamed the relevant SDG goals and targets into our eighth Five-Year National Socio-Economic Development Pl an (2016-2020), ten year socio-economic Development Strategy (2016-2025) and the Vision 2030.”

“In addition, given the reality on the ground, the Lao government has attached great importance to UXO clearance. Building on the progress made in the implementation of our country-specific MDG9 on reducing UXO impact adopted in 2010, the Lao government launched the national Sustainable Development Goal 18 entitled ‘Lives Safe from UXO’ on September 7, 2016 together with the United Nations.”

Source: Vientiane Times