Press Release

Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and International Organization for Migration Strengthen Cooperation

01 September 2021

Vientiane –1 September 2021: Today, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) signed a Cooperation Agreement with the aim to further strengthen cooperation on migration and further develop the good relations between the two parties.

Mr. Phoxay Khaykhamphithoune, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed his sincere gratitude during the momentous signing ceremony for IOM’s support to the Government of Lao PDR. He said, “Migration has significantly contributed to the national socio-economy. The Government of Lao PDR wishes for continued support from IOM in the area of migration including on capacity building programmes, labour migration, anti-trafficking in persons and related activities.” Ms. Shareen Tuladhar, Chief of Mission, IOM Lao PDR said “Noting that Lao PDR became the 171st member state of IOM in June 2018, this development, again, takes our dynamically developing cooperation with the Government of Lao PDR to a higher level. Since opening the office in Vientiane in 2002, we have witnessed an increasing interest and steady practical steps of Lao authorities to build an effective modern-day migration governance system”.

Notably, by entering into this agreement, IOM is granted the Privileges and Immunities afforded by the Government to accredited United Nations specialized agencies in implementing its works throughout the country, in accordance with the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies.

Under the agreement, IOM will continue to expand its assistance by implementing migration programmes in the  Lao People’s Democratic Republic. These include capacity building, advisory services and technical cooperation on migration issues, migration and health, international migration law, migration and environment, counter-trafficking, immigration and border management, assisted voluntary return and reintegration and emergency or post-crisis response.

A global crisis, like COVID-19, has also revealed a need for even broader cooperation between the countries of origin, transit and destination of migrants, between international organizations, government entities, civil society organizations, and the private sector. The agreement signed today is yet another sign of dedication towards the expansion of such. To this end, IOM will while doing so, also work in collaboration with UN sister agencies on issues relevant across the UN country team as outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, which outlines the overall UN strategy for development cooperation in Lao PDR, including with ILO, UNODC, UNHCR, and WHO.

The collaborative partnership approach aims at achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals. It also provides further opportunities for IOM and the Government of Lao PDR to work towards its commitment under regional and international processes such as the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

Today, marks a significant milestone for IOM and the Government of Lao PDR, which underlines both parties’ mutual interest to strengthen cooperation and work together on migration issues to promote human capital development and prosperity. I congratulate both parties for signing this document and I assure you of IOM’s commitment.”, said Ms Tuladhar.

For more information, please contact Shareen Tuladhar, Chief of Mission at shtuladhar@iom.int or Koraket Tanseri, Communication Intern at Email: ktanseri@iom.int  

Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and International Organization for Migration Strengthen Cooperation

Ms. Shareen Tuladhar

Ms. Shareen Tuladhar

IOM
Chief of Mission
Shareen Tuladhar was designated as the IOM Chief of Mission in Lao PDR in June 2020. Ms. Tuladhar has been working with IOM in different capacities since 2015, serving as a Program Manager at IOM Maldives and as Head of the Migrant Protection and Assistance Unit at IOM Azerbaijan. Prior to taking on this posting in Lao PDR, she worked as a national expert on a mid-term evaluation for a USAID funded trafficking in persons project. She was also actively engaged in research on labour migration and trafficking in persons in Nepal. From 2010 to 2015, she was a program manager at The Asia Foundation’s Nepal Office with a diverse portfolio of managing trafficking in persons and safe migration projects funded by USAID. Prior to this, she worked for a research firm in Nepal focusing on public health. Ms. Tuladhar holds a Master’s degree in International Business with an emphasis on Economics.

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