Sustainable Development Stakeholder Engagement Seminar with UN Agencies and Development Partners CLOSING REMARKS
Closing Remarks, UN Resident Coordinator
Tuesday 13 October (8:30- 12:00)
International Cooperation and Training Centre
Excellency Mr. Thongphane Savanphet, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Distinguished Ambassadors, development partner representatives
Esteemed Government partners,
Colleagues, Ladies & Gentlemen,
- Let me too begin by thanking all participants again for your participation this morning.
- This seminar serves as yet more evidence of Lao PDR’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As I began by saying, despite all of the challenges that we must now content with, the SDGs show us a way forward to build a better and more sustainable future for all.
- Over the course of the discussion, we have had the opportunity to delve more deeply into important questions about how this commitment is being translated into practical action.
- As we have emphasized repeatedly, achieving the ambition of the 2030 Agenda will require engagement from across society. Realising the SDGs cannot rely solely on the efforts of the Government or the Development Partners.
- So, I have been particularly glad to hear more about the ways that efforts are being intensified to reach out to broader parts of the population, including the communications and advocacy plans, the SDG mobile App, and of course this series of consultation seminars.
- Mobilizing this broader support behind the sustainable development agenda is vital if we are to be able to accelerate progress in the ways that we know will be needed.
- Through the discussion on how the SDGs are being integrated into the monitoring and evaluation framework of the 9th NSEDP we have explored how alignment is being built into core national structures, to which all of our efforts as development partners will be aligned.
- The presentation from colleagues at the Lao Statistics Bureau has highlighted efforts underway to better track progress, so that in turn we can target our efforts efficiently where they are most needed. But also, how our collective support is needed to further advance and develop the baselines, targets and indictors for an effective M&E framework to make sense of our implementation. This is not the work of the LSB alone- it requires the constructive engagement of policy makers and development partners such as us.
- And the panel discussion has raised important questions about how we as development partners can challenge ourselves to be as effective as possible at this crucial time. Picking up a point made by the panellists of finding the mutual interest of all stakeholders in SDG implementation, the SDGs are our mutual interest. We too have to report to our superiors at HQ against the SDG accomplishments in Lao PDR and how we as partners to Lao PDR have supported these achievements and or helped resolve the challenges faced.
- The UN in Lao PDR, as I know is also the case for many other development partners, is in the process of developing our next development cooperation framework, to align with the 9th NSEDP. This will set the priorities for the UN’s work in support of the development in Lao PDR over the coming years. And, particularly in light of the reforms to the UN Development System, it will also set out how we will structure the UN engagement to deliver the planned support in a comprehensive and well-coordinated fashion.
- In that context, there has been much for us to reflect on from our discussion today, and I am sure many will do the same in contemplating carefully about how these perspectives shared today can be taken on board in our plans going forward.
- With this, and on behalf of my co-chair, H.E. Vice minister Thongphane, I would like to officially close this stakeholder engagement seminar but before doing so, also again thank you for your participation, as well as that of all presenters, the panellists, the organisers, interpreters, technicians and those who served us the delicious coffee in the break, and wish you a good afternoon.