2019 Round Table Implementation Meeting to take stock of Lao PDR’s development progress
22 February 2020
The RTIM will bring together a large number of government agencies and development partners, including representatives from the civil society and private sector to assess the progress, further align priorities and accelerate efforts for meeting the objectives of the current 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP 2016-2020) and implementing the recommendations of its Mid-Term Review (MTR) and Voluntary National Review on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The initial concept of the 9th NSEDP (2021-2025) will be presented at the meeting which will then contribute to its formulation, taking into account measures necessary for acceleration of the SDGs implementation and sustainable graduation from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status by 2024. The delegates will also learn about the implementation of development plans of Luangphabang province, as well as visit the provincial development projects.
The meeting will take stock of the development progress towards achieving the national priorities and outline the next steps for effective development cooperation in the following focus areas:
- Impact of LDC graduation on trade, Official Development Assistance and financing opportunities for transition period;
- Monitoring and reporting for SDG localization and achievement;
- Integration of Disaster Risk Reduction to the national planning;
- Impact of climate change on Lao PDR’s national plans, including the National Green Growth Strategy.
At today’s “Meet the Press”, H.E. Dr. Kikeo Chanthaboury, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, highlighted the importance of 2019 as it is a year that Lao PDR looks into various follow up actions of various milestones and challenges encountered in 2018. These include greater efforts to build back better after disasters by having recovery action plans developed and implemented in a coordinated and effective manner at the national, sectoral and provincial levels; preparation for the formulation of the 9th NSEDP taking into consideration the results and recommendations from the 8th NSEDP MTR; follow up actions of the first SDG Voluntary Review Report at all levels. H.E. Deputy Minister also reiterated that the 2019 RTIM will not only look into the implementation of the last year’s RTIM key recommendations, but also discuss and consult on key content of the 9th NSEDP. Therefore, it is an extremely important policy platform for the Government of Lao PDR and development partners to collaboratively identify means of implementation of the remaining period of the 8th NSEDP, particularly the need to enhance partnership for effective development cooperation for sustainable growth and preparation for the 9th NSEDP.
In relation to the themes of this year’s RTIM, Mr. Jan Delbaere, UN Resident Coordinator a.i. and the UN World Food Programme Country Director and Representative in Lao PDR, said: “Driven by strong economic growth and rapidly improving health and education, Lao PDR is one of the best performers for graduation from the LDC status in 2024. With the LDC graduation being a top priority of Lao PDR, it is of importance to prepare for the smooth transition”. Referring to the SDGs, Mr. Delbaere also pointed out: “The ongoing efforts on the SDGs localization are noteworthy. The UN system stands ready to continue supporting the Government to ensure the SDGs integration into the respective sectoral plans, with the policy advisory support and the required data disaggregation and analysis in order to target the most marginalized.”
Round Table Implementation Meetings are part of the national Round Table Process, a mechanism to ensure maximum impact of development efforts. The Round Table Process, which is led by the Government of Lao PDR, includes 10 Sector Working Groups (SWG) to coordinate actions by theme. This year’s RTIM is chaired by MPI and co-chaired by Luangphabang province and the UN, and organized with the support of Luxembourg and the UN Development Programme, in the capacity of the UN counterpart to the Ministry of Planning and Investment in the support to the SWG Secretariat and preparations for the Round Table Process events. A series of Sector Working Group meetings are being conducted throughout the year, as well as the pre-consultations taking place in November.