The Future We Want: UN75 Interview Session with UN Resident Coordinator at Lao Youth Radio
01 September 2020
Vientiane, 01 September 2020 – The United Nations is observing its 75th anniversary amidst a global pandemic. Concerns and questions have been raised: what will the future for the world look like? How can the youth today shape the future in a better way? What can we do to bridge the gap between our hopes and the reality?
To answer these questions, the UN in Lao PDR is launching the UN75 campaign to engage local people, in particular the Lao youth, to make their voices heard.
As part of the campaign, Ms. Sara Sekkenes, the UN Resident Coordinator conducted an interview with Lao Youth Radio together with colleagues interacting with young people from around the country through the Lao Youth Radio Facebook live stream. Lao colleagues from the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO) Ms. Banthida Komphasouk, Data Management and Result Monitoring/Reporting Officer, and Anoudeth Phanvilay, Intern on Partnerships, joined the interview.
In the interview, Ms. Sekkenes mentioned that one of the important aspects for UN moving forward is to become more inclusive, to engage the local people, and to learn firsthand what they want and need so that Lao people can shape how UN is working in their country.
The UN Resident Coordinator gave a brief introduction of her background and shared information regarding the overall mandate of UN in Lao PDR, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and current activities such as UN75. Ms. Sekkenes spoke about the 18 SDGs, informing the audience that SDG18 “Lives Safe from UXO” is specific to the development of Lao PDR. Moreover, she emphasized that although the UN in Lao PDR is comprised of over 20 different agencies, funds and programmes, they represent and deliver as one UN.
Ms. Komphasouk represented her RCO colleagues and explained their respective roles, which is to advocate, coordinate and monitor the development progress of Lao PDR, and to serve as a bridge between the UN and the Government as well as other stakeholders. To highlight this, she brought up the UN Partnership Framework (2017-2021) to support the Government’s development priorities and spoke about preparations for the upcoming new UN Cooperation Framework 2022 to guide the UNs work in Lao PDR in support of the National Socio Economic Development Plan 2021-2025.
In addition, the UN internship programme was introduced as one way Lao youth can apply and gain firsthand experiences of the UN’s work with Mr. Phanvilay describing his own internship experience with the UN in Lao PDR; intern positions are available each year for university students in their final year of studies or recent graduates and advertised through the UN in Lao PDR website and Facebook page.
At the end of the session, Ms. Sekkenes encouraged the audience to take a one-minute UN75 survey (un75.online). The feedback will be collected, consolidated and presented during the United Nations General Assembly which world leaders will join in late September to learn of the Future we Want as expressed by the Peoples of the World.
This is the first of a series of UN75 interview sessions. Upcoming interview sessions include the ones with UN Population Fund on the 8th of September at 19:30-20:30 and with UN Volunteers on 17 of September at 19:30 – 20:30. Please stay tuned!