UNDP chief backs fast track for anti-poverty goals in Lao PDR
Vientiane – Helen Clark, Chair of the United Nations Development Group and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) concluded her two-day visit to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic today in a meeting with the country’s President Choummaly Sayasone.
“The conditions for continued economic growth are favourable,” said Helen Clark. “The Government’s new national development plan, which places Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at its heart, provides the foundations for achieving growth with equity.”
In addition to meeting the President, Helen Clark also met Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh and Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith as well as other senior ministers in a series of discussions on the priority development challenges and opportunities in Lao PDR.
Helen Clark delivered the keynote address at the 10th Round Table Meeting between the Government of Lao PDR and development partners. The Round Table provides a forum for high-level policy dialogue on the country’s strategic direction.
The meeting also witnessed the signing of a compact in support of MDG achievement in Lao PDR by the globally-agreed deadline of 2015.
“The MDG compact for Laos is an exciting innovation,” said Helen Clark. “It demonstrates the commitment of development partners and provides an important assurance to the Lao people that the Government and the international community will fully support their efforts to achieve the MDGs.”
During her visit to Lao PDR, Helen Clark also undertook a tour of a youth centre in the capital, Vientiane, where she met recovering drug addicts and young people living with HIV as well as local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in the health sector.
At an event hosted by the UN to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the creation of the United Nations and 55 years of Lao-UN cooperation, Helen Clark spoke about the UN’s role in a rapidly changing world and the importance of expanding partnerships with civil society and NGOs.
The event was attended by representatives of the Government and development partners as well a number of local youth groups who showcased a selection of artistic works dedicated to current social issues facing young people in Lao PDR today.
Mr. Ian Holland
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Ms. Cherie Hart
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