The National Assembly, United States and UNDP Celebrate the International Day of Parliamentarism: Building Bridges of Peace and Understanding

July 1, 2024

Vientiane, Lao PDR – The National Assembly of the Lao PDR hosted an evening reception on 1st July 2024 in Vientiane to commemorate the International Day of Parliamentarism.   

Themed "Parliamentary Diplomacy: Building Bridges of Peace and Understanding", the event served as a reminder of the vital role that strong, effective parliaments play in advancing sustainable development and peace.   

The event was attended by Presidents and Vice Presidents from the National Assembly and Provincial People’s Assemblies, H.E. Heather Variava, Ambassador of the United States of America to Lao PDR, Mr. Michael McCord, Country Representative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Ms. Martine Thérer, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Lao PDR, as well as several development partners.   

In his welcoming remarks, Hon. Sanya Praseuth, President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly, highlighted the significance of the celebration, underscoring the importance of strong representative assemblies in bridging the gap between the public and decision-making processes. 

Sharing his reflections on the International Day of Parliamentarism, Hon. Chanthavong Saenamathmonty, Vice President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly, encouraged fellow members of the National Assembly and Provincial People’s Assemblies to continue working together to promote peace and create better living conditions for all citizens.  He stressed the need to build the capacities of the National Assembly and the PPAs so that they are better equipped to carry out their mandate and represent the people. 

In her message, Ms. Thérer emphasized the critical role of parliamentary diplomacy in fostering international cooperation, advancing the Sustainable Development Goals and addressing common challenges, saying "Lao’s ASEAN chairmanship provides an important opportunity to open new spaces for greater exchange of experience between parliaments in the region, as well as for learning from each other’s practices, to ensure that global and regional commitments are translated into effective action and tangible benefits for the populations, including the millions of people who continue to live precarious lives amid entrenched inequalities.” 

The evening also featured a video presentation on the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s 135-year history.  

UNDP has been a long-term partner of the National Assembly. Through the STEPS Project, a 15 million USD five-year initiative funded by USAID, UNDP is providing capacity building to members of the National Assembly and the PPAs, as well as expertise, knowledge and international best practices to strengthen the Assemblies’ system in Lao PDR.  


For more information, please contact: 

Ms. Aksonethip Somvorachit  

Communication Analyst, UNDP  

+856 20 5502 1550