Following the adoption of the Lao PDR-UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF 2022-2022) in 2021, the meeting aimed to provide an opportunity for the Government of the Lao PDR (GoL) - UN Joint Steering Committee (JSC) to discuss priorities and works plan for the inaugural year of 2022 under the four outcome areas of the UNSCDF 2022-2026, and also to wrap-up the final formalities of the 2017-2021 Partnership Framework (Annual Progress Report), which concluded in December 2021.
On the occasion, H.E Mr. Thongphane Savanphet, stressed the important objective of the JSC in providing strategic oversight of the development and implementation of the development Cooperation Framework, with the aim to ensure strong co-ownership and alignment with national priorities as outlined in the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) and guided by the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The JSC is tasked with ensuring that the development process, including planning, implementation and evaluation of join development efforts are built ib a consultative, coherent and inclusive manner, thus, the active participation and contribution of all partners are vital to translate the visions into action and yield effective and concrete outcomes that would bring benefits to our joint efforts and ultimately to our society.
Moreover, H.E Deputy-Minister Thongphane strongly emphasized that ‘partnership, multilateral cooperation and solidarity are the key to our effort in building back better, particularly in this critical time where the global economic instability and the impact of climate change have further inflicted extensive collateral damage on many developing economies that were already struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and Lao PDR is no exception’. He stated that the Government of Lao PDR has always collaborated closely and engaged with all partners, and especially with the United Nations Country Team in responding to development challenges, and strongly believe that the United Nations will continue to be the most reliable development partner both in technical terms and sustainable resources in implementing the development priorities and the joint plan of activities, particularly in achieving the goals and objectives of the NSEDP, graduation from LDC status, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms. Sekkenes, stated that ‘Lao PDR – like many countries around the world – is still processing the socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, accelerating inflation, in particular surging food and energy prices, were already starting to impact people in Lao PDR and beyond. The Resident Coordinator argued that in this context we cannot afford to be static. Rather, we need to analyse these developments and change our policies, projects and programmes accordingly and to rise to meet these challenges ahead.’
The meeting included briefings and presentations from representatives of both line Ministries and UN agencies on the priorities for the four outcomes under the UNSDCF 2022-2026; on People’s Wellbeing; Inclusive Prosperity; Governance & Rule of Law; and Environment, Climate Change, & Resilience.