High-Level Consultation on the 9th NSEDP under the Roundtable Process: Technical Meeting - Closing Remarks

Closing Remarks, Ms. Sara Sekkenes, UN Resident Coordinator

Friday 11th December
ICTC, Vientiane and online via Zoom

Excellency Dr. Kikeo Chanthaboury, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment,

Dear colleagues, and all protocols observed,

 

Over the course of this morning, we have heard how MPI has worked to revise and refine the draft of the 9th NSEDP over the past months, working in collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders and to take on board a significant amount of the  contributions made by many of us here today.

And we have had the opportunity to provide further feedback to help the team as they move toward the finalization of the policy priorities for the coming 5 years now out lined in this document.

This has involved a number of valuable refinements being proposed.

  • Whilst the policy priorities set out to address the macroeconomic situation have been further elaborated in the most recent draft of the NSEDP, and have been consistently supported during interventions today. We do also take note of the heightened levels of uncertainty that we will need to contend with over the coming years, and therefore the need to retain flexibility in how priorities are adapted to potential changing circumstances.

 

  • We take note of the need for a coordinated approach to harnessing the potential of digital technologies, whether in governance or commerce, as it requires efforts across the mandates of numerous policy areas.

 

  • As we just heard from Deputy Director General Kanya, we have also taken note of comments with regards to strengthening recognition of the role civil society can play in supporting the achievement of national development ambitions set out in the Plan.

As was the case yesterday, I also take from our discussion today that whilst of course each of us may have wished for increased emphasis in some places, or greater detail in others, the essence of the 5th draft of the NSEDP now provides a clear strategic framework for policy priorities that reflects the context in Lao PDR, and to which all of our efforts can be aligned.

In my capacity representing development partners at large as co-chair today, I am therefore very happy to conclude from the interventions today, and from the technical discussions yesterday, that there appears to be broad support for the policy priorities outlined in draft 9th NSEDP.

From across the participants, we have heard agreement that the Plan now broadly reflects the context, challenges, and opportunities faced by Lao PDR, and sets the right high-level policy priorities to address them.

This is a key point for us to have reached, and I believe paves the way for a very constructive conclusion to these consultations.

Importantly, it provides a solid foundation as we turn towards the development of the implementation arrangements, the importance of which has been emphasized by several and highlighted in the mid term review of the current 8th NSEDP.

There is much work to be done across the three workstreams of monitoring and evaluation, costing, and financing presented to us by MPI colleagues. And there is no time to waste if we are to meet our deadlines for the whole process to be concluded by in time for the 1st session of the National Assembly next year.

So, I am also pleased to hear the expressions of continued support for the process, and I look forward to continuing our constructive partnership into the new year.

We have all been involved in developing the NSEDP.

Delivering that plan will require an even larger cast.

So, as ever, I am encouraged by the strong partnerships that we continue to have in working together in support of the Government’s efforts to achieve Lao PDR’s development ambitions. And I look forward to these working partnerships growing to include all of Lao PDR’s development partners in the future.

I thank everybody again for their participation in this process, and I look forward to our partnerships going from strength to strength as we move towards the next chapter.

Speech by
Author
Ms. Sara Sekkenes
Resident Coordinator
RCO
Ms. Sara Sekkenes_Photo
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