Asia-Pacific consultations on Post-2015 priorities begin in Laos
Vientiane: Representatives from nine Asian countries are meeting in Lao PDR this week to discuss emerging development priorities for Southeast Asia. They are focusing on successes and challenges that countries in this sub-region face in reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Their exchanges will become an integral contribution to the post-2015 development agenda.
The workshop is the first in a series of consultations on how regional and global cooperation can support the implementation of the development agenda in Asia and the Pacific from 2015 and beyond. Participants include senior officials, representatives of regional and sub-regional organizations, civil society and private sector from Southeast Asia.
Mr. Somchith Inthamith, Vice Minister of Planning and Investment, Government of Lao PDR, acknowledged that the MDGs are still of great relevance and any forward looking agenda should build on them. “In the future, countries of the Asia-Pacific region will need to bring together the three broad pillars of sustainable development – economic prosperity, social equity and environmental sustainability – and replace short-term horizons with longer-term sustained benefits” noted Mr. Inthamith.
This meeting on the MDGs and the post-2015 agenda is organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Asia Development Bank (ADB), and by the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
Participants at the three-day workshop will also study the key findings from last year’s Regional MDG Report “Asia-Pacific Aspirations: Perspectives for a Post-2015 Development Agenda”, with a view to applying lessons to the post-2015 development agenda. Their deliberations will also contribute to the next Regional MDG Report, which will be collaboration between ESCAP, ADB and UNDP. The next consultative dialogues will be held later this year in Central Asia, South and South-West Asia and the Pacific.